Local News

Fayetteville mother charged with abusing her children

Posted October 28, 2009
Updated October 29, 2009

— Cumberland County sheriff’s detectives have charged a Fayetteville woman with several counts of child abuse.

Detectives said Tamika Marshya Sawyer, 32, of 4062 Dudley Road, choked her mentally handicapped daughter. She would punish the 12-year-old child by choking her until she became unconscious on several occasions, detectives said.

The attacks allegedly happened between Jan. 1, 2006, and May 12 of this year.

Sawyer is also accused of choking her 10-year-old son. Detectives said the child told them that she would choke him until his “voice turned low.”

Both children claim their mother threatened them by putting a shotgun in their faces and stated, “This is your last chance; be good.” She would also put chains on the refrigerator in the home to keep them from eating, detectives said.

The children also told detectives they would call family members to bring them food while Sawyer played video games and drank alcoholic beverages.

Sawyer is charged with four counts of assault on a child under 12, four counts of misdemeanor child abuse, two counts of assault by pointing a gun, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, two counts of assault by strangulation and two counts of felony child abuse.

Sawyer was released from the Cumberland County Detention Center on bond Thursday.


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  • Professor Oct 29, 2009


  • Professor Oct 29, 2009

    I believe in *what goes around, comes around*.

  • Professor Oct 29, 2009

    There are "some" mothers who do not need children in their life just as they do not need a pet. They do not know how to handle the responsibilites when it comes to babies or children. She should have taken her anger out on the father of the children. Most likley she is receiving no support from the father and its taken a toll on her. Mean while, her family could have step in to help her but thought it was her problem, and looked the other way. Regardless, to the family: it was your grandchild, neice/nephew or cousin. You should have found a way to help.

  • Glass Half Full Oct 29, 2009


    This link to the story in the Fayetteville Observer also states this woman was shot by her husband in February of 2005 while 3 months pregnant with no damage to the fetus. If this is so then, where's the almost 5 year old?

    Pathetic situation. Some people shouldn't be allowed to breed.

  • LuvMyPets2 Oct 29, 2009

    If these poor kids had to call family members for food when mom, and I use the term loosely, was on a binge, then why didn't the family members call the appropriate authorities to help them? I'm like others on this forum, lock her up and throw away the key. What a waste.

  • familyfour Oct 29, 2009

    Those poor children.

    I have a good guess how her daughter ended up handicapped, also.

    She looks like a real winner....if you are trying to win crack head, drink mom of the year.

  • mac240 Oct 29, 2009

    Just because you'll able to have children doesn't mean that you should!

  • whatusay Oct 29, 2009

    How many billions of dollars of taxes is wasted every year due to the millions of people working for DSS? Social services is a drain on our economy. People need to stop having kids if they don't know how to, or don't want to raise them properly. And, tax payers should not be responsible for providing the money to raise them. If you can't afford kids, don't have them.

  • pebbles262004 Oct 29, 2009

    It's good that I am not a judge....I'd be put off the bench!

  • Kidw4legs stops in Oct 29, 2009

    I am curious as to whether or not DSS had ever had reports on her before, and then found the case to be "unsubstantiated". DSS is worthless as a protector of children. It does, however, serve the sorriest excuses for mothers quite well.