Charges expected in death of five-month-old boy in Landrum, say police

Published 6:02 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shelnut says a warrant on charges of homicide by child abuse will be served on Evelyn Denise Petty, 43, of 103 Red Bird Lane, Landrum, when she is released from intensive care at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.

Petty was keeping the baby and his four-year-old sister at the time, according to police. Petty is the grandmother of the four-year-old girl, but is not related to the baby, Shelnut said.

Shelnut says Petty called 911 saying she had a baby that wasn&squo;t breathing. The baby was taken to Spartanburg Regional, where he was pronounced dead. The Spartanburg County coroner sent the body for autopsy. Shelnut says although the investigation is still ongoing, indicators are pointing to Shaken Baby Syndrome as the cause of death.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

While officers were at the Petty home, Petty excused herself to the bathroom and locked the door. Shelnut says an officer heard pill bottles hitting the floor and kicked in the door to find Petty taking pills with a bottle of malt liquor.

Petty was taken to the hospital for an overdose and was still in intensive care as of yesterday afternoon, according to police.

Investigators are waiting for the results of a toxicology study, which is being done by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).