Grand jury indicts couple in 4-year-old’s death

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A Bowie County grand jury handed down indictments Thursday for the parents of a 4-year-old boy who died last month of injuries consistent with being beaten and kicked.

Benearl Lewis, 24, is facing a charge of capital murder in the death of D’Money Lewis and the boy’s mother, Khadijah Wright, 25, is facing a charge of injury to a child by omission. D’Money died March 8 in a Little Rock hospital.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Benearl Lewis was prohibited as part of a Child Protective Services care plan from being alone with D’Money or his 6-year-old brother but Wright left the children in his care anyway when she went to work at 7 a.m. March 6 at Mayo Manufacturing. Wright allegedly left work around 2 p.m. that day without clocking out after receiving a text from Benearl Lewis alerting her to an emergency at the family’s home in Wake Village, Texas.

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At approximately 4:15 p.m., the couple stopped at a traffic accident being worked by Texarkana, Texas, police at 7th Street and Bishop Lane. The couple reported to officers that they had a child in the car who was unresponsive and not breathing.

“TTPD Officer Bent Hobbs reported to me that when he got to the child to feel for a pulse, the child was cold to the touch,” states the affidavit signed by Wake Village Detective Todd Aultman. “D’Money was transported to Wadley Regional Medical Center in cardiac arrest by LifeNet EMS.”

Aultman photographed the boy’s body at Wadley before he was airlifted to Arkansas Children’s Medical Center.

“There was a large area on his back that was beginning to bruise and several ‘strap’ marks on his legs and back. I was told by medical staff that D’Money was suffering from a right subdural hematoma (bleeding of the brain), bruising to the back and chest ‘as if he had been kicked,'” the affidavit states. “D’Money’s pupils were fixed and dilated, was not responding to stimulus, but he did have a pulse.”

Staff at Children’s Hospital allegedly told Aultman that the boy’s injuries were consistent with “brain death” but inconsistent with the scenario provided by his parents as to how he became injured. Benearl Lewis and Wright allegedly told investigators they were both home when D’Money “jumped or fell from a deep freezer and that his eyes rolled back in his head,” the affidavit states.

Investigators do not believe Wright was home when the boy was injured but believe she left the children in Benearl Lewis’ sole care despite the CPS plan forbidding it, according to the affidavit.

D’Money died of his injuries March 8 and was autopsied the following day. D’Money suffered blunt force trauma to his head and body which caused a “space occupying subdural hematoma that had caused the brain to herniate down the spine,” the affidavit states.

Both Benearl Lewis and Wright are being held in the Bowie County jail. Bond for each is set at $1 million.

Benearl Lewis faces life without parole or the death penalty if convicted of capital murder. Wright faces five to 99 years or life in prison if convicted of injury to a child.

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