published Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Neighbors unaware of possible child abuse before Chattanooga boy killed

Harriet Tubman residents Tia Fortson, left, and Jodi Scott talk near a memorial set up for 4-year-old TyReke Evans who died from injuries related to a beating Monday.
Harriet Tubman residents Tia Fortson, left, and Jodi Scott talk near a memorial set up for 4-year-old TyReke Evans who died from injuries related to a beating Monday.
Photo by Dan Henry.
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HOW TO HELP

A fund has been set up to help with expenses for 3-year-old Donamiche Brewer, who remains in ICU at the Children's Hospital at Erlanger. To help, go to one of the locations of Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union and donate to the account listed in his name.

ABUSE HOTLINE

To report suspected cases of child abuse, call the Tennessee Department of Children's Services hotline at 877-237-0004.

1940 Sherman St.
Get directions:  To here - From here

Looking back, neighbors said they never noticed bruises on the little boys, but that could be because the children often wore long pants and long-sleeved shirts, even in summer.

One woman said she heard thuds coming through the wall from the apartment next door, but never knew what caused the noise.

Now one of those boys, 4-year-old TyReke Evans, is dead and his 3-year-old brother, Domaniche Brewer, is in the intensive care unit at Children's Hospital at Erlanger. The boys' mother and her boyfriend face several charges, including first-degree murder.

"I swear I would have killed [the boyfriend] if I had come home and found my baby dead. I would have killed him with my bare hands or died trying," said Laquanda Cross, 34, who has four children and lives nearby in the Harriet Tubman public housing project.

A pile of toys now lies on a brightly colored piece of fabric at 1940 Sherman St., the boys' former home. Cross stared at the makeshift memorial while talking with neighbors.

"I hurt about that and that's not even my child," she said.

In the weeks before police say was TyReke's fatal beating, the Tennessee Department of Children's Services began investigating allegations of abuse in the home. DCS case workers were there last week, residents said.

Molly Sudderth, communications director for DCS, said Donamiche is now in protective custody.

The boys' father, Donamiche Evans, said the child named after him "is doing all right."

"I checked on him this morning," Evans said Wednesday. "He's not leaving any time soon."

The boys lived with Evans' estranged wife, 23-year-old Patricia Brewer. About six months ago, neighbors said, 21-year-old Kenneth Coleman began staying with Brewer.

Brewer and Coleman both face charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated child abuse. Both are scheduled to go before Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge David Bales on Dec. 28. Brewer's bond is set at $3 million. Coleman's bond is set at $4 million.

Sudderth said the child abuse investigation was opened this month, but would not give the day.

She would not say how many referrals the state agency received about the boys' care by Brewer, but other officials said case workers didn't have enough evidence to remove the boys from the home.

This year, DCS received approximately 169,000 calls alleging child abuse, Sudderth said.

"In general, removing a child from their home is the most drastic alternative for DCS. To remove a child from the home, we must petition the Juvenile Court for custody and need evidence that will support removal," Sudderth said in an email.

Neighbors at Harriet Tubman said they sometimes overheard Coleman and Brewer arguing. They also noticed a change in Brewer when she began dating him.

"I feel like, with [Coleman] being in the picture, she accepted everything he did," said Jodi Scott, 32, a nearby neighbor. "You would rather put yourself and your kids in jeopardy because you want to be with him?"

Scott has had experience with domestic violence. She said she moved to Chattanooga to get away from an abusive relationship. After spending 45 days at the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, she moved to Harriet Tubman with her three children.

Arrest reports say Brewer told investigators that, at one point in their relationship, "she woke up one morning to her children screaming while Kenneth chased them through the house swinging a belt at them."

TyReke fell and hit his head against the wall, she said. She mentioned several incidents of Coleman disciplining the children, the report stated.

Before she met Coleman, Brewer was "a good mom," said 28-year-old neighbor Tia Fortson, who has four children of her own.

"If you felt like you wanted [Coleman] to stay, you should have, out of concern for your kids, let them go," Fortson said, perhaps giving them to the father or grandparents.

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Did anyone offer to help Ms. Brewer with child care?

December 22, 2011 at 8:08 a.m.
ex_army65 said...

The little boys father "checked on him this morning"????

Are you serious?? Maybe if the relationship didn't consist of "checking on him" this may not have happened. And I say if the mother saw this happen to those little boys even once before and then put them in the situation for it to happen again, she's as guilty of murder as the punk who did it.

December 22, 2011 at 8:17 a.m.
holdout said...

Of course she was offered help. She was helped to get away from her killer boyfriend too. She went back to it. You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it float on its back.

December 22, 2011 at 8:26 a.m.
SGTWRIGHT said...

CHILD CARE HELP??? She didn't even have to work....she got everything free, why in the h@ll would she need child care? And for the quote of the father "checking on him this morning" really??? Why is he not sitting up there with this little boy? Oh, I bet he has a job to go to.

December 22, 2011 at 8:31 a.m.
sangaree said...

ex_army65 said... The little boys father "checked on him this morning"???? Are you serious?? Maybe if the relationship didn't consist of "checking on him" this may not have happened

How do you know the father hadn't been checking on the kids or least trying to. Sometimes women will do things to purposely keep a man away. Even threatening to call the police on them if they try to come around. My son was once in such a relationship where he was forced from his children lives for his own protection. The mother would invite him over to spend time with the children, then when he got there she'd pick a fight and call the police. The police would arrest him based on her words alone. This scenario happened quite a number of time, as he was desperate to see his children. But at some point, when one cop drew a gun on him and pointit at his head while he was handcuffed in the back of the cop's patrol car, I told him enough is ENOUGH. I understood he loved his children, but there's a time you just have to give it up. The children are grown now, but grew up thinking their father had abandoned them (as this what the mother and her family told them). They've since learned the truth and are once again now very close to their father and his family. They loved their father even then. I guess the mother and her family didn't care just how badly they hurt the childrenn with lies, but it all backfired on them. As adults, the children want very little to do with their maternal side of the family.

December 22, 2011 at 9:32 a.m.
sangaree said...

SGTWRIGHT said... CHILD CARE HELP??? She didn't even have to work....she got everything free,

What makes you think she was getting everything free? Just because someone is living in public housing doesn't mean they're getting a free ride. People in public housing have to pay rent too. Sometimes more than five and six hundreds, based on their working income. Yes, I said work because there's a terrible misconception floating around out there that all people living in public housing don't work, are on welfare, and receive foodstamps and free health insurance. That couldn't be further from the truth.

why in the h@ll would she need child care? And for the quote of the father "checking on him this morning" really??? Why is he not sitting up there with this little boy? Oh, I bet he has a job to go to.

Yes, the father could very well have a job. Don't you have one? I see you conveniently placed SGT in your screen name. So we'll assume you have a job although you spend a lot of time with your rants and irrational ragings here spewing your senseles bs*.

December 22, 2011 at 9:38 a.m.
SGTWRIGHT said...

As a matter of fact, I have 2 jobs...and you need to take a spelling class or a typing class so that you can respond appropriately to my comments. As for the comment about the mother causing the father trouble, really...that would be a bit hard since she is in jail. I guess you live in public housing, that is how you have so much knowledge about the benefits. Get real!

December 22, 2011 at 10:26 a.m.
ex_army65 said...

@sangaree-- How do I know the father hadn't checked on the kids? I can honestly say I don't know, but I also will say that if his kid is in the intensive care from almost getting beaten to death and he "checked on him" I'll bet I'm more close to being right than you are about the relationship he has with this child.

And your two responses are what I believe is wrong with what's going on today. While you sit here and come up with excuses instead of holding people accountable for what they do, why would they ever feel the need to hold themselves accountable? "The father very well could have a job", but you know he very well probably doesnt. "You can pay up to 600 dollars in rent in public housing", but you know very well that you probably dont. "The father may have been denied being able to have a relationship with his kids", but you know probably well he probably hasnt even tried. I'm sick of listening to excuses as to why this kind of stuff happens.

December 22, 2011 at 10:31 a.m.
Janestrong said...

I have personally reported a very serious case of child abuse to DCS (my call was taken in Nashville) and absolutely nothing was done for the children. These children should have been removed from the mother last week. What does it take to help abused children? This monster and the mother of the children were brought to the attention of DCS. Where is the action that needs to be taken to protect children? Make the parents prove that they are fit instead of making the public prove that the children are being abused. Make your decisions for the children.

December 22, 2011 at 10:51 a.m.
sangaree said...

SGTWRIGHT said... As a matter of fact, I have 2 jobs...and you need to take a spelling class or a typing class so that you can respond appropriately to my comments. As for the comment about the mother causing the father trouble, really...that would be a bit hard since she is in jail. I guess you live in public housing, that is how you have so much knowledge about the benefits. Get real!

You and I can make a deal. I try better at proofreading and correcting typos (no class needed on spelling), if you agree to take a class on decorum and reading/comprehension.

Yes, the mother is in jail now, but what has that to do with any prior attempts the father may have made to be in contact with his children? And if the father is working, he may just be working two jobs just like you. Possibly even three since you're so interested in trying to up one. If he has a job, even one, he can't possibly risk losing that job just to be at the hospital 24/7, now can he? Dah! Does common sense mean anything to you?

No, I don't live in prublic housing, but wouldn't be ashamed to admit it if I did. Just because someone has compassion for all humanity, regardless of where they live, doesn't make they have to be living under the same conditions. There's no more wrong with poor people living in public housing than there's someone living in some of your preceived to be finer neigbhorhoods. Public housing just gets a bad rap because the poor makes for easier target.

But for the Grace of God that could be any of us. I just read an article recently where American citizens once millionaires are having to apply for foodstamps and other assistance in another state. So, count your blessing and don't look down your nose on others. I've been blessed tremendously over the years, financially, spiritually, great health and many other ways. I think the real problem with people like you and the others who knock the poor, is that you actually see yourselves in their position. Maybe you have at one time or another been in that situation, and it scares the he/ll out of you that you could be there again.

Now, you can worry about all the typos and misspelling you want, and you can attack the poor all you want. As that's the need of small minds in need to feel superior. You're likely one of those who grew up receiving some kind of government assistance, or at some point had to personally apply for assistance and you're now ashamed and try to hide it.

December 22, 2011 at 12:52 p.m.
sangaree said...

@ex_army65 And your two responses are what I believe is wrong with what's going on today. While you sit here and come up with excuses instead of holding people accountable

And of course, your responses of pointing fingers and what should be done to whom, how bad the mother is, how bad the boyfriend is yada yada are better?

December 22, 2011 at 12:54 p.m.
ex_army65 said...

maybe not better....but definitely true. Are you telling me they aren't bad?

December 22, 2011 at 3:32 p.m.
gamergirl113 said...

SGTWRIGHT may be his name but he is a fool. I've known the family for YEARS so let me throw away some misconceptions by people who have no idea what they're talking about.

1) They BOTH had full-time jobs. 2) He saw his kids as much as he could, being a father working 60-80 hours a week to make sure he could help take care of them. It's so prejudice to even think they don't have a job because they need public assistance. It's also stupid to think that, especially now when he son is going to have a trillion medical bills, that he would quit his job. So yes, he checked up on him when he could get away. It's admirable that he can hold on to his responsibilities at a time like this. 3)Don't make him out to be a dead-beat dad. Some so soon forget he MARRIED her, but like 50% of marriages in America, it didn't work out. He loved her and he loves both his boys with all his heart.

I think she should be in jail. I know her, I don't wish anyone ill, but she let her kids get abused and she needs to pay her time for that. However, let's not all go crazy, jumping to wildly prejudice/racist conclusions because they have black skin and are poor.

December 22, 2011 at 3:38 p.m.
dao1980 said...

A sixty hour work week (as claimed above) at minimum wage (60 X 7.25) equates to $1,740.00 per month before taxes.

With this income, why would you choose to accept public assistance?

A home costing $80,000.00 financed over a thirty year period with a 5.25% interest rate will require a $700.00 monthly payment.... (roughly)

In these tough economic times, many can't qualify for a home loan.... and their $700.00 monthly "cost of housing" expense is paid in the form of rent. (still not public assistance)

If you are not disabled, and are able to work.... why are you accepting public assistance?? Why would anyone choose to reside in a place where (historically speaking) nothing good ever goes down, and is continually reported as a den for the breeding and in-breeding of angry criminals and dead-end lifestyles.

Sure, there are many unexpected reasons for being "down on your luck" for a finite period of time.

Some would say that producing a multitude of unplanned offspring is the reason public assistance is necessary for many of those who choose to accept it.

This excuse chafes at my mind, and is an insult to all of us.

Am I to believe that the average "apple knocker" is not intelligent enough to ask simple questions of themselves?

One, for starters would be, "can we afford children yet?"

December 22, 2011 at 4:05 p.m.
megpat said...

Not one of us knows all the circumstances. What we do know is that a litte boy is dead due to child abuse. Another child is gravely injured. I suggest we pray for all involved.

December 22, 2011 at 4:17 p.m.
gamergirl113 said...

@dao1780

First off, are you saying she should have had an abortion? Because I bet you're in the same camp that would say she shouldn't but then criticize her because she need public assistance to help raise them.

So on 20,000/yr BEFORE taxes, you think someone might not need public assistance? You have to feed you, your two kids, pay rent, gas money, lights, water, have money for unexpected bills, gotta get your kids clothes, pay for school-related items...and you think it's crazy that someone might need public assistance? And do you think the bank is going to sell an 80,000

But besides the point, this is COMPLETELY unrelated to this. Do you think poor parents = bad parents? Cause Case Anthony was doing alright for herself before she MURDERED her child and got off with it. Jon Benet Ramsey's parents were just fine before she was found MURDERED and no one knows what happened. What about the girl that JUST went missing in the middle of her parent's custody battle? Gone! Not seen! They aren't poor either.

Just saying.

December 22, 2011 at 4:21 p.m.
gamergirl113 said...

80,000 house when they only make a 1/4 of that in a year?****

(Correction)

December 22, 2011 at 4:58 p.m.
macropetala8 said...

@dao1980 said... A sixty hour work week (as claimed above) at minimum wage (60 X 7.25) equates to $1,740.00 per month before taxes.

gamegirl, thanks for the inside info. But it's a waste of time as apparent by the above dao1980 post. Such ignorance must be a blissful place for people making such idiotic comments.

<p>@dao....the ex-was the ex. The woman was the one living in public housing, and not the ex. OK...so as you say even at minimum wage a sixty hour work week at 7.25 an hours = to $1,740.00 before taxes. The key word here is before taxes. the father likely had medical insurance deductions coming from his paycheck along with other taxes. If he wasn't carrying the children as a tax deduction then he had even more coming from his paycheck. You people are so judgmental. Hopefully, when you're time comes around, as is usually case for people who point fingers, others will show you more compassion than what you've shown for what this father is likely going through at this tragic time. You people are such fools!!

@sangaree: Thank you and the rest for taking so much heat for speaking out on behalf of these helpless children and not condemning the father without knowing all the facts.

@dao... If you are not disabled, and are able to work.... why are you accepting public assistance??

Living in subsidized housing is not accepting public assistance. Qualifying for subsidized housing is based on level of income and living expenses. As you or your next door neighbor maybe getting some form of actual public assistance and you're not even aware of it.

It's amazing how hypocritical America is by showing its hatred for its own poor. Then they'll go and adopt some child from Africa,Haiti, China, Russia or another country, or bring some family over from Sudan and build them a home just to show how charitable and giving America is, but you have so much hate and disdain for your own poor. fakes!

btw--not everyone is making that $7.25 minimum wage. As companies have learn ways to actually get out of paying that. I'll explain just how if you prefer.

December 22, 2011 at 5:34 p.m.
macropetala8 said...

A friend sent this almost a decade ago in another case of child abuse where an innocent child was tragically killed by an adult.

It's titled: TEARDROPS/ "Whispered The Great "Genie" In The Sky"

As he entered Heaven:

"Over here! Little one" ...Whispered the Great Genie of the sky ...Your suffering on earth is over ...You no longer have to cry

As you can see ...There are many here like you ...But there is no sadness here ...The children are quite content ...Like you, their lives on earth were tragic ...And it's here they were finally sent

On that most horrific day ...The angels were there ...All along, little one ...Although they couldn't intervene ...But with their bodies, they did cushion the blows ...As they witnessed this most tragic scene

The Angels did weep that day ...As they have on countless others ...As you can see there's plenty ...Like you here, little one ...Without regards to race, class, creed or colour

Yes, My precious one ...We all heard the Angels' ...Teardrops ...Gently falling on the rooftops ...Spattering the trees and soaking the ground ...Their heartfelt miseries knew no bounds

Sadly, we know thsoe teardrops ...Will continue to fall ...For all future ones like ...God's most innocent, precious, helpless ...And small

But for now, little one ...Here you will find only peace, love ...Contentment and much needed rest ...Here we cuddle and love ...Our little ones ...With gentle tenderness

And if you so begin to weep ...In memory of your eartly pain ...We'll simply rock you and hold you ..........Closer...... ...Till sleep, peace, and contentment ......Abides again.....

P.S. -------"Children are God's way of letting us know the world must/will continue."~~blmw 1/2003

according to ocmulgeecasa.org 4 children on any given day throughout America dies from child abuse and neglect.

National Child Abuse and Neglect --There are 794,000 confirmed reports of child abuse and neglect each year{and these are only the confirmed ones, where there's likely a required trip to the hospital}; on average, 80% of the time the biological parents are responsible. --4 children die everyday from child abuse and neglect. --Over 500,000 children are in foster care. --Children who suffer abuse or neglect are 53% more likely to become juvenile delinquents, 38% more likely to be arrested as adults and 38% more likely to become violent criminals. --The economic cost of child abuse is estimated to be $104 billion per year.

December 22, 2011 at 6:17 p.m.
macropetala8 said...

P/S--Footnote: It's not surprising that children who are abused are more likely to go on and abuse others. Once they enter the criminal justice system, as juveniles or adults, they're even further likely to be abused; physically, emotionally, mentally and often sexually in prisons and juvenile detention centers by fellow inmates or at the hands of prison guards and staff. Then they're released back into society more angry, violent and anti-social than they were before. Abuse the gift that keeps on giving. :*( (that is a teardrop).

December 22, 2011 at 10:04 p.m.

gamergirl113,

I agree that the bigots on this thread are heartless, self-righteous, and clueless about the possible circumstances surrounding this terrible tragedy. A co-worker of the mother's posted some things on another thread, so it was clear to me that she was working. Do you know if anyone or any group offered to help her with childcare? I make no assumptions either way. I am just curious.

December 22, 2011 at 10:58 p.m.
SGTWRIGHT said...

None of us know the circumstances and we can all rant about all these things, but an sweet baby is dead and another fighting for his life. I read the story of the autopsy report and it sickens me. These poor little guys suffered pain that we can't imagine and I pray for God's mercy on everyone that knew and did nothing about it. I pray God's blessings and healing for the people that tried to help!

December 23, 2011 at 6:52 a.m.
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