MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Charges against a Martinsburg couple were upgraded Tuesday after the man's 3-year-old son died Sunday as a result of severe beatings, according to Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely.
James Mauldin, 20, and his girlfriend, Jasmine K. Dawkins, 22, were originally charged with felony counts of child abuse and neglect resulting in the injury of a child. Those charges will be dismissed and have been replaced with child abuse resulting in the death of a child, Games-Neely said.
The couple, whose address was listed as 214 Joshua Drive, Apt. 616, were originally jailed with a $55,000 bond for Mauldin and $25,000 bond for Dawkins. Berkeley County Magistrate Jim Humphrey said Monday he raised it to $250,000 each.
A preliminary hearing in the case will be held within 10 days, Humphrey said. Both defendants have requested court-appointed attorneys.
The child, Kaiwon, was pronounced dead at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, according to a West Virginia State Police report and court records.
He suffered a fractured skull and brain bleeds. Dawkins told investigators that they "may have occurred from the result of punches to the head of Kaiwon," according to court records. She also told police that Mauldin punched the boy "several times in the head," the records said.
The baby also suffered burn marks on the backs of his legs and buttocks, according to police and court records.
Dawkins told investigators that Mauldin used a form of discipline on the child that he referred to as "squats; that he would get upset when the child would sit on the floor instead of staying in a squatting position," the records said.
She told police that Mauldin "would get angry to the point he would heat a pan on the stove then place it on the floor underneath Kaiwon..." to keep him from sitting on the floor, according to charging documents.
She told police that she was in the bathroom with Kaiwon and her 3-month-old child when Kaiwon stood on the toilet, fell off, landed on his side and struck his head on the floor. She said she saw blood on the inside of his ear a few hours later, the records said.
Mauldin told police that he had began staying at 214 Joshua Drive a few days after Thanksgiving. Court records listed a second address for Mauldin at 501 Rubens Circle, Martinsburg.
They also listed a second address for Dawkins at 12605 Windbrook Drive, Clinton, Md.