GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. — WYFF 4.com
A mother is accused of letting her live-in boyfriend kill her 1-year-old daughter and then lying to deputies about what happened.
Georgia Ann Sprouse
Greenville County sheriff's deputies and the U.S. Marshals arrested Georgia Ann Sprouse, 30, of Greer, at about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at her friend's house in Laurens County.
Sprouse has been charged with aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse and accessory after the fact of homicide by child abuse.
After her daughter, Nevaeh, was found unresponsive by EMS workers on May 25, Sprouse told deputies the baby had choked on tea she tried to drink from a glass.
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Nevaeh was transported to the hospital where she remained in critical condition until she was pronounced dead on May 27. An autopsy performed on May 28 determined that Nevaeh had not choked on tea, but had been suffocated.
James Allen Johnson, 26, of Travelers Rest, is charged with homicide by child abuse in Neveah's death. Johnson, who goes by the nickname Parker, is Sprouse's live-in boyfriend, but he is not Nevaeh's biological father.
...Cain said the child's body had bruises consistent with abuse... The warrants state excessive corporal punishment resulted in the baby's death...
Deputies said the autopsy results and other evidence led to Johnson's arrest. Cain said the child's body had bruises consistent with abuse.
Master Deputy Sam Cureton said, "We do know that the suffocation occurred at the hands of Mr. Johnson, by whatever means."
According to Sprouse's arrest warrant, she allowed the injuries to be inflicted on Nevaeh. The warrants state excessive corporal punishment resulted in the baby's death.
Sprouse also gave misleading statements to investigators, according to another warrant.
The warrant said Sprouse impeded the death investigation by giving statements that led investigators to believe that Nevaeh's death was caused by accidental choking.
Sprouse and Johnson are both being held without bond at the Greenville County Detention Center.
Nevaeh's father, Mark Gore, told News 4's Mandy Gaither, "I called (the Department of Social Services) over a month ago when I knew (Ann) was with that Parker boy because I had suspicions that he wasn't right...if (D.S.S.) would have investigated my call, then maybe my child would still be living today."
Gore also said, "In my heart I feel that Ann didn't do it, but if it comes to light that she did that, she needs to accept the consequences. But, it's not like her to have done it."
Sprouse had been staying with a friend, Candy Hatley, for the past two days.
Hatley said Sprouse was arrested at her home in Laurens.
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"(Sprouse) just said she wants justice for her baby. And you know, that (Johnson) done it. That's all she kept telling me. She told me that she was in the bed sleeping when it happened," said Hatley. "She's asked for a lie detector test three times and they won't give her one. I don't believe she done something like this."
Hatley said she talked to Sprouse in jail.
"She was crying. She just doesn't understand why she's in there," said Hatley.