The mother arrested on charges of helping bury her infant son in the woods after the child allegedly was beaten is a victim of domestic violence and being with the “wrong man,” the child’s grandmother said in court Friday.
At a bail-review hearing in Prince George’s County District Court, the grandmother asked that her daughter be allowed to return home so her family can get her help.
“We love her, and this has been a nightmare for our family,” said Geneice Petty’s mother, who did not identify herself by name in court and declined to be interviewed after the hearing.
Geneice Petty, 24, and Antoine Petty, 32, were arrested Wednesday in the death of their 3-month-old son, Antoine Flemons, after police allege that the boy was punched and left in the couple’s car for more than a day before his parents buried him in a shallow grave behind a high school in Riverdale.
Judge Leo E. Green determined that Geneice Petty should remain jailed on $120,000 bond and denied any possibility of release for Antoine Petty, noting that he had failed to appear for court seven times in the past.
Antoine Petty, agitated with his crying child, reportedly punched the baby Sept. 21 until the baby would not rouse, according to police charging papers.
The infant was dead for nearly a month before a relative reported him missing on Monday, and police later unearthed the child’s remains.
Friday’s court hearing turned emotional.
As Geneice Petty’s mother began to speak, a woman in the courtroom broke into sobs, and Geneice Petty wiped away tears rolling down her own cheeks with both hands.
Geneice Petty’s mother said her daughter loved her son, who was always attached to her bosom, but said her daughter suffers from “battered woman syndrome.”
“He was thriving and growing and beautiful,” Geneice Petty’s mother said of her grandson.
Antoine Petty has been charged with first- and second-degree murder and related crimes. Geneice Petty is charged with being an accessory after the fact.
More than a dozen children younger than 3 have died in the county over the past two years, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said after the hearing.
“This death represents a tremendous loss to our community,” Alsobrooks said. “It represents yet again another instance where this community has failed to protect a child.”