Local News

Family says man didn't kill young daughter

Posted December 13, 2010
Updated April 5, 2014

— A Louisburg man charged Friday with killing his 14-month-old daughter in Wake Forest is innocent, his family said Monday.

Johnathan Blake Perry, 23, of 330 Hazelwood Circle, is charged with murder and intentional child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury. He is being held without bond in the Wake County jail.

Wake Forest police and paramedics responding to a 911 call from 522 N. Allen St. last Tuesday found Perry alone with his daughter, Jadajia Wright, who had no pulse, authorities said.

The toddler was taken to WakeMed and then flown to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, where she was pronounced dead.

"Johnathan loves his children," his aunt, Teresa Davis, said Monday, when Perry made his first court appearance.

"He's a real sweet person – good-hearted, loves everybody," Davis said. "There's nothing he wouldn't do for anybody. Johnathan is a perfect man, a good man."

According to an affidavit in an application for a warrant to search the Wake Forest house, Perry told the chaplain at UNC Hospitals that he gave his daughter a bottle as she sat on the couch and then went to the bathroom. When he returned about 10 minutes later, Jadajia was unresponsive, and when he picked her up, he thought he heard her neck snap, the affidavit states.

Johnathan Perry in court Family says man didn't kill young daughter

"By the time he got in the kitchen to get the phone, the baby was already on the floor," his mother, Annie Perry, said Monday. "He picked her up, and she had little, shallow, short breaths. He called 911, and they told him how to perform CPR over the telephone.

Court documents state that Jadajia had brain swelling, a hemorrhage in her eyes, a bruised lung and possibly a broken leg. WakeMed officials called authorities because they suspected abuse in the case.

"I honestly believe. I believe in my son. I know he didn't do anything he's accused of," Annie Perry said. "We loved (Jadajia). We really did. We saw her almost every day."

Perry's only previous conviction was for misdemeanor damage to personal property last year, according to state Department of Correction records.


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  • mammag24 Dec 16, 2010

    I was in the PSC courtroom at Wake on Monday when they brought him in to read charges and do bail. I didn't even see anyone there for him. He didn't show any emotions (which alot of time lawyers tell them to do). It was sad. I don't know if he's guilty, I would have to hear all the facts. But I do know that my son fell off a sofa when he was 18 months old and broke his leg. So its possible. But that is alot of damage to the child for a fall from a sofa. The hemoraging in the eyes is usually from shaking.

  • KnowItAll4Real Dec 15, 2010

    I know this man personally; he is not perfect! Imagine the mother's feelings (shes a friend of mine). Innocent until proven guilty? Guilty! He knows what he has done now. He and his family seek to avoid a prison sentence. No justice can bring this baby back and no couch/chair or floor can do the damages she encountered! She had been shaken and abused!

  • OGE Dec 14, 2010

    I have a 19 month old and just can not imagine the amount of anger it would take to do this.

  • sbryant2 Dec 14, 2010

    You got it right jazziwoman, there is no real justice and people are innocent until proven guilty. Nobody knows the whole story yet, what the media has released and how it appears on the face of it doesn't look good, but how many times has that happened and the person was innocent?
    Don't know whether he did it or not for sure. But do know if Wake County is as bad as Johnston, there will be no justice for him if he didn't do it; and not enough punishment placed on him for the victim's family (mom, grandmom, siblings, etc) if he did do it. Sad but true

  • nanny Dec 14, 2010

    Yeah right-he's as guilty as they come and those of you who don't think so might need to open your eyes. It's child abuse 100%-the injuries are not consistent with her falling and he heard her neck snap, because he did it. Sorry for the family and sorry their in denial-the writing is on the wall-read it folks.

  • smartmomma Dec 14, 2010

    Poor little baby. What a sad and too common story. I feel bad for his family, and of course they are in denial. Who wants to believe their relative killed his own baby? Praying for the family...

  • crustyhalo Dec 14, 2010

    Please people lets wait for the ME to determine an exact cause of death and or any prior medical conditions before we judge

  • jazziwoman Dec 14, 2010

    he looks emotionless????????What is that??????

  • jazziwoman Dec 14, 2010

    What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty...Amazing how people are judged.....There is no justice in America. Oh, sorry, unless you have money...jazzi

  • peppercorns Dec 14, 2010

    He looks emotionless. You would think he would be more distraught.