A Gunter woman currently sits in the Grayson County Jail charged with injury to a child serious bodily injury after her infant child died back in June.
Tatriauna Roberts is represented by Sherman attorney Garland Cardwell, who did not immediately return a call seeking a comment about the case. Roberts was indicted on the charge this week. The indictment is a formal charge and not an indication of guilt.
Roberts’ 2-month-old son Amori Long died on June 12. At that time, Roberts lived with her two older children and the baby at an apartment in Gunter. Since Amori’s death, Roberts has given birth to an additional child.
She called police, a Gunter Police report shows, when she noticed that Amori was not breathing. First responders said the child was small, frail, thin and showed no signs of life when they arrived. He was taken to Wilson N. Jones Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. His body was then sent for an autopsy.
Sgt. D. Jones of the Gunter Police Department wrote a report that stated he asked Roberts what happened to the child and told him that she had fed the baby and then fallen asleep. He was laying on the corner of an air mattress and she was sleeping in the middle of it. She told Jones that the baby was one of a set of twins that she had conceived. She said the other baby, a little girl, developed heart problems at around the 26th week of the pregnancy and died. She delivered both babies on April 19. The girl was still born. Amori, medical records included with the police report showed, weighed five pounds and 3.9 ounces at birth. The medical examiner’s report showed that at his death, he weighed 4.48 pounds which, the report said, is less than the second percentile for his age. The M.E.’s report listed the manner of death as homicide based on the case history. The report said the child was malnourished and dehydrated and that such a condition would have occurred over an extended period of time. It said the condition was “such that a rational caregiver should have sought medical treatment for failure to gain weight.”
Roberts was living with her aunt before moving to Gunter. The police questioned the aunt who said she thought Roberts had taken Amori to a doctor about his weight loss but the aunt could not give the doctor’s name or the outcome of the visit.
The report said that when asked about taking Amori to a doctor, Roberts said she had tried to get him into a pediatrician but none of the local ones would take them because her other children were not vaccinated. When asked about feeding the baby, Roberts said she tried to breastfeed him but was only able to produce a few ounces of milk a day. She said that had happened with her previous children as well and she had supplemented with formula. She said she had started Amori on formula the day before he died.
Statements in the police report indicated that officers found food in the home and Roberts’ other child appeared to be cared for. Her next court date is set for May 24 in the 397th state district court.
First Assistant Grayson County District Attorney Kerye Ashmore said that Roberts was charged with a crime for failing to protect her child. He said there is no way anyone could have looked at Amori at the time of his death and not known he needed help. Parents are required by law, Ashmore said, to seek help for their children if they are in danger or need of medical attention. Ashmore said there is no indication that Roberts ever took the child to a doctor.