Shaquan Duley, the mother accused of killing her two young boys and then staging an accident to cover it up, made what her lawyer called a “remorseful” appearance in an Orangeburg, S.C. courtroom on August 18.
“She had a solemn attitude and was crying before she entered court,” Duley’s attorney, Carl B. Grant said during the hearing. “I can assure you there is more than has been said and reported by anyone.”
According to various reports, Duley, 29, got into a heated verbal dispute with her mother about the care of the two boys on Aug. 15. After the argument, the unemployed single mother, who lived in a rented house in Orangeburg, left her five year-old daughter with her mother, checked into a motel, police said. In a room at the Trumps Inn in Orangeburg early the next morning, police said, she put her hand over the boys’ mouths and suffocated them. She then put the children in the car and allowed the car to roll into the nearby Edisto River.
“We believe this is a direct response (to the argument) from Ms. Duley,” Orangeburg County Sheriff Larry Williams told CNN. “I believe she was just fed up with her mother telling her she couldn’t take care of the children, and she wasn’t taking care of her children, and she just wanted to be free.”
When police responded to a report of an accident near the river, the bodies of 1-year-old Ja’van Duley and 2-year-old Devean Duley were found.
Duley originally told authorities that the children drowned when her car careened into the river and she couldn’t manage to get the children out but according to investigators, her story didn’t add up.
“I don’t believe she woke up and said, ‘I’m going to the Shillings Bridge Road to get rid of my children,’” Williams said. “Of course, that hasn’t been determined. I believe she was just angry, upset and for some reason found the boat ramp, but mind you the children were deceased … so (she was) trying to find a way to discard the bodies.”
A funeral for the two boys was held on the morning of Aug. 20.