Local News

Mother Charged in Beating Death of 3-Year-Old

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FAYETTEVILLE — A woman wearing bloodyclothing was jailed after being found by sheriff's deputies. She is charged in the death of her 3-year-old son found beaten with a bluntobject, authorities said.

Sharon Ivey Bradshaw, 26, was charged Monday with first-degreemurder after being taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center forobservation after she was picked up walking along a dirt road, thesheriff's department said.

Cumberland County Sheriff "Moose" Butler" described what happened afterthat.

Maj. Ray Davis, chief of detectives for the Cumberland CountySheriff's Department, said a motorist called about 4:30 p.m. Mondayafter he saw a woman with blood on her clothing walking on the roadoff N.C. 87.

A deputy spotted the woman a short time later and approachedher. Once the deputy got the woman in the car, she attacked him,Davis said. The deputy used Mace to subdue her.

Another deputy went to the woman's mobile home on a dirt roadjust north of the Bladen County line.

The officer found young Charlie Nelson Bradshaw in thebathroom, wedged between a wall and a water heater. Davis said the boy hadbeen dead only a short time and had been beaten with a bluntobject.

Monday was the child's third birthday.

Bradshaw appeared confused when she was taken before amagistrate at 11 p.m. Her eyes darted about the room, stopping ateach investigator. When a magistrate asked her if she understoodher court date, she responded ``Do what now?''

Neighbors said they often saw Mrs. Bradshaw in the yard,playing ball with Charlie and his brothers, ages 5 and 8. They said shewalked the older ones to the bus stop every day and had never seenher raise a hand to the children.

Theo Miller, who lives in the trailer next to the Bradshaws,said he saw Bradshaw and her son in the yard about noon Monday.Charlie often came over to play with his son, Brent, who is aboutthe same age, he said.

Sheriff's cars were parked on the narrow dirt road when Millergot home from work Monday. ``I figured somebody got broken into.That really shocked me. He was a nice little boy.''

Davis said Bradshaw, 26, was on probation for burning a trailerin August 1992. She also had been convicted of second-degreetrespassing, according to court records.

Monday's violence marked the second time in 10 days that achild in the region had been murdered and his mother charged with thecrime.

Eight-year-old Justin Reese was strangled Sept. 14 andleft in a cotton field near his home in Harnett County. The boy's mother,Keturah Reese, was charged with the murder four days later.

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