• Man charged in death of 18-month-old Statesville boy

    By: Dave Faherty

    Updated:

    STATESVILLE, N.C. - A Statesville man is charged in the death of his girlfriend's toddler.

    Police said Shaquille Brown, 20, is accused of physically assaulting the toddler on Aug. 28.
    Officers said paramedics were called to Brown's home on Fifth Street at about 10:30 p.m. after the child suffered severe injuries.
    The child was taken to Iredell Memorial Hospital and then airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

    The child, 17-month-old Leland Marshall Washington, died Monday from the injuries he sustained. He had suffered trauma to his head and abdomen.
    Brown made a brief court in Statesville after being arrested for murder and intentional child abuse.

    The man's family doesn't believe he did it.

    "There is absolutely no doubt that my brother did not harm this child," said the suspect's sister, Tanya Stevenson.

    Campbell said she is still in shock over her brother's arrest in the killing of 17-month-old Leland Washington.

    Police believe the abuse happened at the Statesville home where Brown was watching the toddler for his girlfriend.

    According to arrest warrants, Brown assaulted Washington.

    Stevenson lives next door and was home when paramedics showed up.

    "When I heard, I was on my way out the door and they told me the baby had had a seizure or something. We thought it was just medical attention," Stevenson said.

    Stevenson said her brother along with other family members were concerned about injuries found on the toddler's back in June.

    But when Channel 9 talked with police by phone Thursday, they said they were never contacted about any possible abuse before the baby's death and the evidence points toward Brown as the person responsible.

    Stevenson said she trusts him with her own child and saw him interact with the toddler.

    "Every time I saw him, the baby was up in his arms running to him, or sitting on his lap. There was never any indication that the child was fearful of him," Stevenson said.


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