LaShirley Morris pleads guilty to beating KeJuan Mason to death with a baseball for eating a cupcake. A history of reckless family conduct.
LaShirley Morris pleaded guilty on Dec. 11 in the death of KeJuan Mason, who was found battered in a ‘roach-infested’ southwest Atlanta home with bruises throughout his body in October 2017, WXIA reports.
Morris was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole the Fulton DA told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the plea on Friday.
Morris and her sister, Glenndria Morris — the boy’s legal guardian at the time of the slaying — insisted to officers that he choked on a cupcake. But an autopsy found that the toddler had died from blunt force trauma — with bruises on his legs, back, chest, buttocks, arm and head.
‘She told me out of her mouth before I got the autopsy back that he had been beaten about the cupcake,’ KeJuan’s grandmother, Xavier Upshaw, said during a 2018 bond hearing for Glenndria Morris. ‘I have five grandbabies. I had six. It is unfair. He was 3 years old. What can a baby do, 3 years old, to make you beat him to death?’
The boy succumbed to his injuries at a hospital on Oct. 21, 2017, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In addition to murder, Morris also pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault and cruelty to children in KeJuan’s death, WXIA reports.
A history of reckless conduct and parenting:
The case against Glenndria Morris – who was charged for not stopping the fatal beating – is still pending. She’s facing charges of murder, aggravated assault and cruelty to children.
In 2017, KeJuan and three of his siblings were placed in the care of the Georgia Division of Family & Children Services after their mother was arrested on a reckless conduct charge. The boy’s mother, Geraldine Mason, allegedly left the youngsters home alone and abused them, according to department records.
Mason was later reunited with one of her children when she was released from custody in April 2017 — at which point she also requested temporary guardianship for KeJuan and his twin brother. Mason suggested that Glenndria Morris — the boy’s godmother, serve as his guardian.