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In separate incidents, man, woman, charged with killing babies

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

A man who allegedly squeezed his infant son to death, and a woman who allegedly beat her daughter in the head, have been charged with murder and child cruelty, in separate indictments.

Vertie Janelle Green, of College Park, was indicted Wednesday by a Clayton County grand jury on charges of malice murder, felony murder, cruelty to children, contributing to the deprivation of children and contributing to the delinquency of children.

The indictment accuses the 31-year-old woman of causing her infant daughter, Christina Walker, fatal head trauma and "cruel, excessive, physical or mental pain." Green also allegedly "willfully deprived" the baby girl of "necessary sustenance, to wit: medical attention."

Instead of calling 911 when she should have, police believe she poured cold water on the injured child.

Green told Clayton County police she heard Christina fall down the stairs of their Brentwood Road home, according to the police report filed on July 15, 2007.

Green allegedly said she "was trying to wake [the girl] by hitting on the face and chest," according to the police report. "She took [the girl] to the kitchen and she poured some water on the juvenile ... then she called 911."

The baby girl was flown to Chldren's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, where she died.

The indictment also alleges Green isn't fit to care for her other children.

Police said when they responded to the home, they found it in terrible condition.

"It was terrible for a juvenile or normal person to live in," the report alleges. "There was no food in the house, there was trash in the front porch and inside the house everywhere. There was feces on the carpet and inside one of the bedrooms. There were dirty cloths everyone on the floor, dirty dishes on the counter, and everywhere on the floor. The house had a strong odor of trash."

Green's next court date has not yet been set. She is facing the possibility of a life sentence.

Elsewhere, Jeremy Antonio Stokes is also facing a possible life sentence based on allegations he jerked, bit and squeezed his 4-month-old son, causing the boy to die.

Stokes, of Jonesboro, was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday on charges of malice murder, felony murder and cruelty to children.

The 26-year-old father allegedly broke son Jeremiah's arm and ribs, causing the child to stop breathing, killing him by asphyxiation on March 2, at Williamsburg South Apartments on Riverdale Road.

The boy died gasping for air. An autopsy found he had multiple broken ribs, a swollen brain, a broken right elbow and a bite mark on his back.

Stokes allegedly "had a habit of squeezing the infant until he begins to cry," according to the arrest warrant filed by Clayton County police, and is "jealous."

The boy was taken to Southern Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Stokes' next court date has not yet been set.