Local News

Mother Charged in Beating Death of 3-Year-Old

Posted September 24, 1996 12:00 a.m. EDT

— A woman wearing bloody clothing 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 blunt object, authorities said.

Sharon Ivey Bradshaw, 26, was charged Monday with first-degree murder after being taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center for observation after she was picked up walking along a dirt road, the sheriff's department said.

Cumberland County Sheriff "Moose" Butler" described what happened after that.

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

A deputy spotted the woman a short time later and approached her. 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 road just north of the Bladen County line.

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

Monday was the child's third birthday.

Bradshaw appeared confused when she was taken before a magistrate at 11 p.m. Her eyes darted about the room, stopping at each investigator. When a magistrate asked her if she understood her 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 she walked the older ones to the bus stop every day and had never seen her 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 about the same age, he said.

Sheriff's cars were parked on the narrow dirt road when Miller got 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 trailer in August 1992. She also had been convicted of second-degree trespassing, according to court records.

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

Eight-year-old Justin Reese was strangled Sept. 14 and left 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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