MARGATE, Fla. – A Margate mother and her boyfriend, both 29, were arrested for abuse after the woman’s 4-year-old son remained unresponsive and brain dead at a Broward hospital.
On Thursday, Local 10 learned the boy has died.
Margate police arrested the boy’s mother Shaquita Monique Brockington and Stephon Alexander Beaver, both of Margate, on Monday, July 20.
On Wednesday, July 15, officers from the Margate Police Department, responded to a 911 call about a 4-year-old with injuries. The child was taken to Broward Health Medical Center where multiple injuries were found on the boy’s body. A report stated that Brockington told police that the child had fallen out of a tree and landed on his head, which was the reason for the 911 call.
According to medical staff, the boy didn't have any external injuries to his head, but they discovered an internal brain bleed. Also, they reported that they found additional marks and injuries "in various stages of the healing process" on the child's chest, throat, arms, legs and back.
Brockington consented to allow Margate detectives to search her Apple iPhone 7 plus, where they found text messages between her and Beaver.
On the day of the alleged fall and after arriving at the hospital, Brockington received a text from Beaver telling her “Bae relax & go in there with a clear mind. DO NOT CHANGE THE STORY.”
On Friday, July 17, detectives met with Brockington at Broward Health Medical Center, where, in a sworn statement, she told them that the story of the boy falling out of a tree was made up between her and Beaver, whom she referred to as her husband.
She said that the day of the child's injuries, she had become upset because the boy was not eating breakfast and when she asked him why he was not eating, he didn't look at her or respond to her.
The police report said she told detectives that she felt “disrespected” and began punching the child’s legs multiple times. Once she stopped punching the child’s legs, Beaver began to take punches at the boy’s legs.
She told police that when she left to go to the bathroom and returned about 5 minutes later, Beaver was throwing the child in the air and catching him. She began yelling at him to stop, but he continued. When he did stop, Brockington said she noticed the child’s breathing wasn’t right. Two hours later, she said he was still “breathing funny.” A half hour later, she told Beaver that she was concerned about his breathing because he had recently recovered from bronchitis and she wanted to call 911.
About four hours after the incident, she said she noticed drool and blood on the mattress, where the boy was laying. She told Beaver she wanted him to call 911. He mentioned to her that he was concerned about police due to “whooping his ass.” When the boy’s mother demanded he call 911, Beaver created the story of the child falling from the tree.
Brockington said she had questioned Beaver before about marks on her child’s body, but he denied touching the child. She had previously left her son alone with the man while she went to work at her cashier’s job.
Medical staff examining the boy when he arrived for the alleged head injury said that the type of injuries discovered — marks on his throat, bite marks, loop-shaped scars and small circular burns — indicated that his injuries were continuous and over a length of time.
Medical Director, Dr. Jason Schulman, said that based on the evidence it was highly unlikely, if not impossible, that the multiple types of trauma came from a fall. He also stated that because of the amount and different types of injuries documented, it appeared that the child suffered continuous abuse while in the care of Brockington.
She is charged with one count of aggravated child abuse and one count of neglect of a child, due to her failure to make a reasonable effort to protect the child from abuse, neglect or exploitation by another person. She also faces one count of lying to law enforcement. Her bond was set at $250,000.
Beaver is charged with aggravated child abuse, child neglect with great bodily injuries, and lying to law enforcement. Bond for all three charges was set at $300,000.
While they are currently charged with abuse, the boy’s death could result in more charges, however, there are no change in their charges at this time, according to officials.
Margate police said that there were no previous calls for service to the address prior to the 911 call.