A Charleston, S.C. mother and three teens have been charged in the beating of a toddler that has left the 18-month-old in critical condition.
According to police investigators, Shakera Suncelaree Wright, the victim’s mother, told the Department of Social Services that she and her son were visiting her friend Tyrek Varnes, 16, at his home. Wright said Varnes and his 14- and 15-year-old friends were “play wrestling” with the victim, Louis, when they began pummeling him in the chest and stomach while he hung upside down from his ankles in a closet.
The next morning Wright said she checked on Louis—who slept in Varnes’ room—and said he looked “like he wanted to die.” By the time the toddler arrived at the hospital he was in respiratory distress, and he was immediately taken to an intensive care unit.
A CAT scan revealed five rib fractures, air and blood in his thorax, multiple lacerations of his liver, spleen and pancreas. Louis was in shock, and the scan also showed that he had suffered a skull fracture at some undetermined point.
The results prompted physicians to call the police and DSS.
Varnes confessed to everyone’s role in the abuse and he, Wright and the other two youths have been charged with infliction or allowing infliction of great bodily injury to a child. If convicted on the felony charge, the defendants face a 20-year sentence.