Caregivers Face Life In Prison For Murder Of 15-Month-Old

A man and woman have pled guilty to Murder by Abuse or Neglect First Degree in the 2018 beating death of 15-month-old Chosen Smith.

Deputy Attorneys General Jim Kriner and Diana Dunn secured the pleas from Tameke Wright, 23 and Lavar Harris, 38, in Superior Court. The couple were babysitting the child in February 2018 when they drove the child to the hospital and reported that he had fallen off a futon. The child died minutes after arriving at the hospital.

Upon examination, it was discovered that the child had abrasions and bruises all over his body as well as abusive head injuries, including a fractured skull. The Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide as a result of blunt force trauma.

Detective Devon Jones of the Wilmington Police Department arrested Wright and Harris the following week. Both defendants face a sentence of 15 years to life in prison when sentenced in June. DOJ paralegal Jayna Quillen and victim services specialist Bettina Jones also participated in the prosecution.

Original Story

Wilmington – On Saturday, 17 February 2018 at approximately 4:45 am, Wilmington Police were summoned to the Wilmington Hospital in reference to a death of a 15-month-old child, according to police.

Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division responded and began a death investigation.

Officials said the Delaware State Medical Examiner’s office later determined the death to be a homicide caused by blunt force trauma.

Wilmington Police, Criminal Investigations Division, working in collaboration with the Division of Family Services and the Delaware Attorney General’s Office, discovered that the mother of the child had left the child in the care of TAMEKE WRIGHT, 22, and LAVAR HARRIS, 37, both from the 300 block of E. 5th Street, in Wilmington, according to police.

On February 23, 2018 warrants were signed for both individuals for MURDER BY ABUSE OR NEGLECT, 1ST DEGREE.

Both suspects were taken into custody by Wilmington Police Uniformed Services Division without incident.

TAMEKE WRIGHT and LAVAR HARRIS are each being held on a $100,000 cash bail.

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