The attorney for an Alabama mother whose 1-year-old daughter was beaten to death by her 8-year-old babysitter while went out clubbing says people should keep their mouths closed if they don't know what really happened.
Katerra Lewis returned home at 2:00 a.m. on Oct. 11 after a night out clubbing with a girlfriend. She did not immediately check on her 1-year-old daughter, Kelci Lewis, until 10:45 a.m. the next morning. That's when she found little Kelci battered and unresponsive in a crib.
Lewis called 911, but the child was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:07 a.m.
At some point that day Lewis created a Gofundme account to raise at least $1,000 for help to "lay my daughter to rest properly."
“My baby was taken from me unexpectedly, where I wasn’t prepared to have to bury my child,” wrote Lewis on the Gofundme page.
The page was taken down after 24 people donated $1,185 for funeral expenses.
Alabama police later charged Lewis with manslaughter when it was determined that she left her baby girl in the care of her girlfriend's 8-year-old son who “viciously attacked the one-year-old because the one-year-old would not stop crying,” according to a Birmingham police spokesman.
Police say the boy punched and choked little Kelci before putting her back in her crib because her crying was disturbing his sleep.
Police found 4 other children in the home -- all under age 7. The children were removed from their mothers who must now prove to the state that they are fit to regain custody of them.
The boy is the youngest person to be charged with murder in Alabama, according to Alabama police.
Lewis’s attorney, Emory Anthony, told WBRC that the media isn't telling the full story, and that the charge of manslaughter is inappropriate.
“The manslaughter statute deals with someone's action, as far as, acting in the heat of passion or acting in a reckless manner, not a person allowing some other person to act in a dangerous manner," Anthony told the station.
He added: "Of course my client has a different story about what transpired."
Lewis's mother, Waynetta Callens, told AL.com there were "other adults" in the home at the time of her granddaughter's tragic death.
"Katerra is not the type of parent that they are trying to portray her as,' Callens told the paper.
"We all will have our day in court. Never judge a book by its cover, which means don't try to judge from the outside. People are already talking, I know they are. If you don't know the real story, keep your mouth closed because you don't know what happened," Callens added.
Family and friends held a candlelight vigil for little Kelci this week.
“I think her punishment is something she’s going to have to live with for the rest of her life, her actions that night. Choosing the club over taking care of her one-year-old is going to stick with her the rest of her life,” said Birmingham police spokesman Lt. Sean Edwards.