Local News

Family says man didn't kill young daughter

Posted December 13, 2010 5:29 p.m. EST
Updated April 5, 2014 3:53 p.m. EDT

— 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.

"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.