A woman and her boyfriend are in the Fulton County jail charged with murder in the death of the woman's 12-year-old brother.
Police said Sabrina Powell and her boyfriend, Omar Pitts, were charged with felony murder in the death of 12-year-old Jaytavious Mahone, who died from heat stroke (hyperthermia) on Thursday.
The couple admitted punishing the boy by forcing him to stand outside holding a paint bucket for hours with no water to drink. This past week, the temperature in Atlanta has hovered above the 90-100 degree mark.
Police said Sabrina Powell and her boyfriend, Omar Pitts, were charged with felony murder and cruelty to children in the death of 12-year-old Jaytavious Mahone on Thursday.
The Fulton County Medical Examiner's office said the 12-year-old boy who was reported to have suffered a heat stroke did not die of natural causes.
Cpl. Kay Lester of the Fulton County Police Department said officers received a call to Camelot Drive just after 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Police said the call came in that a 12-year-old boy was suffering from heat stroke.
Paramedics arrived on the scene and began to try to resuscitate the boy, police said. He was transported to South Fulton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Heat stroke occurs when the body temperature remains consistently elevated above normal, and the body is unable to dissipate the heat. Children and the elderly are especially susceptible to heat stroke during the Summer.
When a child's body temperature is elevated, he sweats to dissipate the heat. The sweat evaporates allowing heat to leave the body which cools the skin down.
If he doesn't drink water fast enough to replace the great loss of fluids through his skin, he will become severely dehydrated. At that point, the body stops sweating to preserve water for normal body functions and the child is unable to lower his body temperature or control his heart beat. Death comes within minutes once a child stops sweating and reaches the heat stroke stage.
This also occurs with adults, but I'm using a child as an example.
Jaytavious would have shown signs of severe dehydration such as weakness, confusion and rapid breathing. He would have begged for water many times before passing out.
Edited to add this email from loyal reader Mel:
I am an avid reader and supporter, have been for a while. Wish you would open registration to those of us who have valid points....
Anyway, reading your story on the 12-year old boy. You failed to mention the fact that he was kicked in the head SEVERAL TIMES by the boyfriend. On the news last night a witness actually video taped this incident and gave the tape to police.
Just wanted to mention that. I am saddened by the fact that we keep letting these boyfriends (and girlfriends) abuse our kids!