A Texarkana man accused of beating his girlfriend’s 11-month-old son to death has been indicted for capital murder by a Bowie County grand jury.
Joshua Lowe, 28, is accused of causing the death of Javontae Neeley. The baby’s mother, Christy Wedgeworth, 24, was indicted Thursday for injury to a child by omission in Javontae’s death and injury to a child by omission involving injuries suffered by her 4-year-old daughter. Lowe was indicted for first-degree injury to a child in connection with injuries he allegedly inflicted on Javontae in the days before his death and for third-degree injury to a child for alleged physical abuse of Javontae’s 4-year-old sister.
According to probable cause docouments, Javontae was unresponsive when he was driven in a private vehicle to St.Michael’s Hospital on July 11. The child’s injuries allegedly did not fit with Lowe’s claim that the boy choked on a hot dog. In an interview with Texarkana, Texas, police, Lowe allegedly claimed he dropped Javontae on the floor because the child threw up on him.
Javontae’s injuries allegedly did not fit with Lowe’s account.
A doctor at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock reported to investigators the day before Javontae died July 13, that his injuries included “abusive head trauma, subdural hemorrhage, cerebral edema, retinal hemorrhages, healing rib fractures (five separate ribs), and bruising, (facial scalp, ear, cheek, chest, back and extremity).”
The doctor allegedly suspected Javontae had been violently shaken causing a head injury. Other injuries, such as cracked ribs, were older and had been inflicted days before the injury that caused his death.
Wedgeworth was allegedly aware that Lowe was beieng physically abusive toward Javontae and toward Javontae’s older sister.
Lowe faces life without parole or the death penalty if convicted of capital murder. If convicted of injury to a child for injuries Javontae suffered before he was fatally injured, Lowe faces 5 to 99 years or life in prison. If convicted of abusing Wedgeworth’s 4-year-old daughter, he faces 2 to 10 years in prison.
Wedgeworth faces 2 to 10 years if convicted of injury to a child by omission involving her daughter and 5 to 99 years or life in prison if convicted of injury to a child with serious bodily injury by omission involving Javontae.
Lowe is being held in the Bowie County jail with bond set at $7 million. Wedgeworth’s bond is set at $1 million.