Pee Dee couple charged after child dies of asphyxia in car seat


EFFINGHAM, SC (WBTW) – State agents have charged an Effingham couple in connection with injuries found on their three-month-old infant following the child’s death last month.

Tempestt Latabotha James, 27, and Ledarius Thomas, 26, were each charged with unlawful neglect of a child or helpless Person. They have been booked into the Florence County Detention Center.

Investigators said the three-month-old child died of asphyxia after being placed face down on a pillow in a car seat. Further investigation revealed several bone fractures in the child’s ribs, femur, and tibia on both legs that were in various stages of healing, according to the affidavit.

“Tempestt James and her co-defendant, Ledarius Thomas, are custodial parents responsible for the welfare of the child, had constant access to the child during this time period, and failed to seek medical attention for the child prior to the child being placed face down in the car seat,” the investigator states in the affidavit.

The case will be prosecuted by the 12th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

The SLED investigation was requested by the Florence Police Department. The arrests were made by the special operations team of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office.

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