Murder suspect known as neighborhood babysitter
A babysitter accused in the death of a 6-month-old child made her first court appearance Wednesday morning.
Demeatria Porter is facing felony murder charges and first degree cruelty to a child for the death of Ja'kovian Davis.
Autopsy results show the infant died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head by soft force.
Those who live in Demeatria Porter's neighborhood say she was known as the neighborhood babysitter.
"She keeps everyone's kids. It's not a day that you don't walk past her house and there isn't a kid there. Everybody trusts her with their kids. She's a very kind person," said Zavier Jones, a neighbor of Demeatria Porter.
According to BabysittersRegistry.com, although parents may feel comfortable with the person who keeps their child, it's still vital to perform a background check. Officials say parents should also pay attention to red flags and follow their instincts.
"She's always keeping kids but you can tell that she's not able to take care of herself like she should. She's not stable like me or like a usual person," said Zavier Jones.
Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards says if any person charged in a crime presents symptoms of mental health issues, then it's the duty of the criminal justice system to perform an evaluation.
However, he says a mentally ill diagnosis isn't necessarily an excuse for the crime.
"The only relief from criminal responsibility would come if that person were determined to be insane. Just being mentally ill does not relieve you of criminal responsibility," said District Attorney Greg Edwards, "It would go into how we address the situation but unless a person is insane; they would still be criminally liable."
Dougherty County officials are still questioning Porter about the ongoing case.
Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler says officials are trying to develop a timeline of the sequence of events that led up to the death of Ja'Kovian. He says at this time the suspect has provided several different statements.