APRIL 30, 2010 9:27 a.m. (0)
Christopher Lamar Wilson waited until he knew everyone in the house would be asleep.
Then as quietly as he could, sometime around 4:30 a.m. the morning of Aug. 7, 2007, he crept out of his house carrying a duffle bag that held the lifeless body of his 4-year-old son, wrapped in a blanket and stuffed into garbage bags.
A few blocks from his house in the Greenline community between East North Street and Stone Avenue, he stopped at a thick field of kudzu.
The vines and leaves hid the duffle bag when it landed about 25 feet from the street’s edge.
“I want you to understand something,” Wilson, 35, told Circuit Judge Edward W. Miller as he stood before the court in an orange detention center jumpsuit restrained with handcuffs and leg irons and pleaded guilty to a charge of homicide by child abuse in the death of one of his twins, Javeion Mayes.
“I panicked,” Wilson said. “I still got to live with this. I just ask that you have mercy. If I could take it back I would.”
Miller sentenced Wilson to 25 years in prison in the child’s death.
The judge also gave Wilson two concurrent sentences of 10 years each for guilty pleas he entered to two other charges of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature stemming from a November 2007 fight that prosecutors said broke out inside the Greenville County Detention Center when inmates jeered him about the little boy’s death.
Because homicide by child abuse is classified under South Carolina law as a “no parole” offense, Wilson is not eligible for parole and will not be eligible for release until he has served at least 85 percent of his sentence.
A woman seated with about a dozen members of the Wilson family sobbed openly as Miller handed down the sentences.
Across the aisle in the standing-room-only-courtroom, Javeion Mayes’ mother, Margarita Looper, sat on the first of two rows packed with her friends, family and supporters. She dabbed at tears with a tissue.
Wilson told the judge Looper knew the child was dead hours before the youngster was ever reported missing.
She mouthed the words “Oh my God,” and bowed her head in disgust.
“She convinced me not to call the police,” Wilson said, before later telling the judge Looper ultimately called 911 to report her son missing anyway.
“It was wrong for me not to call the authorities like I should have,” he said. “But she knew and was aware of everything that was going on. I just took the wrap for it. Now my child is dead because I made a stupid mistake.”
The accusation drew no reaction from Miller.
The preschooler’s body was found on Aug. 9, 2007, ending a two-day search in sweltering heat. At the time, Wilson had only recently learned he was the father of Javeion and his twin brother, Taveion, according to court testimony.
Wilson first told police Javeion had wandered off the morning he was reported missing.
When questioned by detectives a second time, Wilson admitted jerking Javeion causing him to hit his head on the sink after the boy urinated on the floor following his bath. Wilson told police the child became unresponsive a short time later.
But investigators questioned Wilson a third time after an autopsy showed the child had drowned.
At that point, Wilson changed his story, telling investigators that after he jerked the boy’s arm causing him to hit his head on the sink and toilet, he put Javeion into the tub and left him there for about 15 minutes while he dressed the other twin. Wilson told authorities when he returned to the bathroom, Javeion was unconscious, face up in the water.
Detectives said Wilson claimed to have attempted to perform CPR, but said his efforts were in vain.
Authorities said the child died sometime the day before or very early on the morning the he was reported missing.
An aunt of Wilson’s who spoke prior to sentencing told the court her nephew’s mother died when he was 8, and that he moved in with his grandmother until she passed away soon afterward.
“He’d crawl up under his grandmother’s house and sit by the chimney to keep warm and cry,” said the aunt, who identified herself as a local minister. “He never got professional help, and I believe he needs professional help. But he is a caring person. He loves his family. And he’ll have a good support system when he gets out of jail one day.”
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