Raleigh man pleads guilty in young son's death
Posted March 25, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — A Raleigh man was sentenced to 19 to 25 years in prison Wednesday after he admitted to a judge that he violently shook his 9-week-old son, causing injuries that eventually led to the baby's demise.
Demetrius Lashawne Morant, 31, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the Oct. 8, 2013, death of Jrue Morant. He was 11 months old.
Morant told police that his son had some kind of "medical episode" and that he gave him CPR before placing him back in his crib on Dec. 26, 2012, Raleigh police detective Eric Gibney testified Wednesday.
When the boy's mother arrived home, she noticed her son wasn't behaving normally, and she took him to a local hospital.
Morant's response when he was told that his son had retinal hemorrhaging, Gibney said: "OK, that's cool."
Gibney said Morant later admitted that, in the heat of the moment, he "may have" shaken Jrue and "squeezed a little too hard."
Dr. Beth Herold testified that Jrue had varying stages of bleeding in his brain as well as other head and bodily injuries.
"He was shaken so extremely violently that his retina detached from his eye," Herold said. "This little baby boy had 10 broken bones in his ribs."
Speaking at Morant's sentencing, Jrue's mother, Faith Newton, said her son's birth was "the best and happiest" moment of the couple's lives.
“For anyone to come in on this story and categorize him as a murderer is hard for me to fathom," she said. "I have already lost my son but you are also taking away my best friend. To me he is not a threat to society.”