Matthew faces life in prison in tot’s death

Jadien Harvey was beaten to death in July 2012 by his mother’s boyfriend. (Staff Photo: Kathy Jefcoats

Jadien Harvey was beaten to death in July 2012 by his mother’s boyfriend. (Staff Photo: Kathy Jefcoats


Kemra Matthew, at right, listens to the polling of the jurors in his murder trial March 14 in Clayton County Superior Court. He was convicted on all charges and faces life in prison when he is sentenced Friday morning. (Staff Photo: Kathy Jefcoats)

JONESBORO — A man convicted in the beating death of his girlfriend’s toddler in July 2012 is expected to be sentenced this morning in Clayton County Superior Court.

Kemra Nesta Matthew, 31, was found guilty March 14 on all six charges related to the death of Jadien Harvey, 2, and the severe beating of his brother, Ashton Capers, then 4. Prosecutors said Capers barely survived his injuries.

Matthew faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole for murder and a maximum of life without parole plus years added on for the other felonies.

Matthew was baby-sitting the two and their two brothers while their mother, Ashley Harvey, worked. Jurors believed Matthew beat Jadien Harvey by punching him in the stomach and shoving him into a wall, causing a fatal skull fracture.

Capers also suffered a punch in the stomach, which required emergency surgery. He told jurors that Matthew hit him and his brother.

The family was under investigation for suspicion of physical abuse by Clayton County Department of Family and Children’s Services at the time of Jadien’s death and even abruptly moved from one apartment complex to another without notifying their case worker, according to testimony.

Capers and three siblings, including Jadien’s twin brother, Jaylin, are in the custody of their maternal grandmother, Shannon Evans Harvey. The children call her “YaYa.”

Prosecutors Kathryn Powers and Travis Meyer will make a sentence recommendation to Chief Judge Deborah Benefield.