On Friday April 1st, Shawnte Jones was convicted of first degree murder and child abuse and was sentenced to life in prison for the death of her ten-month-old (10) daughter Labraiya Huff. According to court documents, in February of 2004, police responded to an apartment in Mesa after receiving a report that an infant had stopped breathing. Baby Labraiya was transported to Banner Desert Medical Center where she died two days later after being taken off life support. The cause of death, according to court documents, was blunt force trauma to the head. After the autopsy revealed the cause of death, police arrested Ms. Jones. During the police interview, Ms. Jones told police that she slammed Labraiya’s head into the floor of her apartment after becoming frustrated listening to Labraiya cry. Ms. Jones then put Labraiya down for a nap, and, according to court documents, found Labriaya on the floor not breathing when she went in to check on Labraiya thirty (30) minutes later.
Ms. Jones’ defense attorney, G. David Delozier Jr. said many of his clients do not attend their sentencing hearings: “But this young lady, knowing she is facing these charges and the possibility of being locked away from her family for many years, has shown up.” Deputy County Attorney Frank Grisman asked that the court’s sentence not reflect the fact that Ms. Jones did not have a previous history of criminal offenses, but rather, that an infant was killed. Mr. Grimsan said “We are dealing with the loss of a life here. We just ask that the court doesn’t forget that.” Ms. Jones’ grandmother, Laura Flenons, told the court that her granddaughter was a loving, kind and compassionate person. Ms. Flenons said “I personally have a great hurt on my heart. I feel in my heart that there were some things left unsaid, some things left undone. I believe in her still.” Finally, prior to receiving her sentence, Ms. Jones apologized to her family and her children for the pain she has caused them. She said “My world has ended. My babies are my world, and I would never hurt them.”
If you are facing first degree murder charges, contact a Scottsdale criminal defense lawyer at the criminal defense law firm Oracle Law Group for assistance with your criminal case.