January 31, 2007
Reported by Rhonda Kitchens
It was around 3:00 Monday afternoon that police received a frantic 911 call from a home on Hodges Street. When they arrived the child inside had stopped breathing and was later pronounced dead in a Shreveport hospital. Marquetta Campbell says her brother, 18-year-old Gregory McCummings was not only caring for his girlfriends son on monday, but the couple's newborn, as well.
"And he was holding both of the kids and when little Gregory started throwing up and choking, it freaked him out. So his reaction was, they were in the bedroom, to throw Damarian down on the bed, not intentionally, not to hurt him, but just out of a normal reaction," says Campbell.
Campbell says at first, the damage was not apparent. "He didn't pass out when he threw him down on the bed. He got up, moved around. He even tried feeding him after this happened," says Campbell. But it wasn't long before McCummings realized something was terribly wrong. "He said he kind of, he was drunk, it looked like he was drunk. He went to fall and he picked him up. He gasped for air but it never came back out and he stopped breathing."
Campbell says McCummings panicked, calling his mother for help. "He was like, 'somebody needs to come, I don't know what to do,' and he was scared so she told him to call 911 and he was so scared and nervous he asked her how to call 911."
The 15-month-old died the next morning and McCummings was booked for 2nd degree murder. Now, he's speaking out to KPLC from behind jail walls. "Man, it wasn't malicious, little Damarian's death. Man, you know what I'm saying? It was a mistake, man. Everybody out there is thinking I'm a murderer but I'm not. I was Damarian's father figure," says McCummings. Making the tragedy even more difficult to accept. "I'm trying to maintain for my son, man. It's hard up in here, man, but I'm trying my best to maintain for my child, man."