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No charges yet in toddler’s death

Man charged in brother’s alleged assault

JONESBORO — No charges have been filed in last month's death of a toddler but a Georgia Bureau of Investigation autopsy report seems to show the boy died from physical abuse.

Kerma “Kam” Matthew, 29, of Jonesboro was reportedly baby-sitting the four children of his live-in girlfriend July 11 when two of the kids started vomiting. The younger, Jadien Harvey, 2, died 16 minutes after he was taken to Southern Regional Medical Center, according to Clayton County Magistrate Court warrants.

The older, Ashton Capers, 4, was treated for fatigue and vomiting. A medical exam of the child performed at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta indicated he suffered elevated liver and pancreatic enzymes, a serosal tear in his small intestines, a bruise on his lower back, a spinal compression fracture, a fracture of his left shin bone that showed no signs of healing and a condition where his skeletal muscle fibers were rapidly breaking down.

Dr. Tamika J. Bryant reportedly told police that because the child had no history of trauma, his injuries were indicative of physical abuse. Matthew has been charged with aggravated assault under the Family Violence Act and cruelty to children. He is being held without bond in the Clayton County Jail and is expected to attend a preliminary hearing on the charges Aug. 23.

Bryant reportedly told police Ashton Capers suffered his abdominal injury between 7:45 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. She told police the injury could have been fatal if it had not been treated in a timely manner, according to the warrant.

The GBI autopsy report indicated Jadien Harvey suffered a skull fracture, bruises to his scalp, and bleeding in his brain and abdomen. While no one has been charged in the toddler's death, the report states the investigation is "in progress."

Ashton Capers was interviewed Aug. 8 at Rainbow House, according to the warrant. Police said the child said “Sam” punched him and his younger brother in the stomach. Further investigation revealed the child has a speech impediment that causes him to pronounce the letter “K” as an “S,” according to the warrant. Police said they are satisfied that the child was referring to Matthew.

Clayton County police said Matthew was baby-sitting the kids from 7:45 a.m. when their mother, Ashley Harvey, left for work, until 10:30 a.m. He then took the kids to a neighbor, who reportedly told police the brothers were vomiting. The mother reportedly told police that her children were fine in the days leading up to the alleged assault.