MARIETTA, Ga. — A Marietta father is now facing murder charges after his child died of alleged abuse.
On Thursday, 21-month-old Shomari Holmes Jr. was taken off of life support at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta around 3:45 p.m.
The child had been hospitalized since he was found unresponsive at an apartment on Bently Road in Marietta on Saturday afternoon.
Shomari’s mother Chantelle Driver, who was also arrested, was on the phone from jail through the process.
According to arrest warrants, the boy’s father, Shomari Holmes admitted to police that he beat the child. According to the warrant, he said he struck the boy in the head and ribs with a closed fist, causing internal bleeding. He also confessed to beating the boy’s 3-year-old sister, the warrants indicate.
After the child’s death, police said that charges against Holmes will be upgraded to felony murder. He had been charged with second-degree cruelty to children, misdemeanor simple battery and felony aggravated battery.
Driver was also charged after police said that she knew Holmes was beating the boy and refused to call police. Authorities also allege that she failed to obtain medical care for the child. She’s charged with second-degree child cruelty and contributing to the deprivation of a minor.
However an uncle tells 11Alive that she was a victim as well. As court records show, she was beaten in several incidents. Family said she worked from home and went to school. She told her family she was asleep at the time Holmes allegedly beat the child. When she woke up and realized what happened, she called for help, family said.
She didn’t tell police because “she was scared she’d be portrayed as a bad mother” a family spokesperson said.
Driver and Holmes were in court on Sunday for their first appearance, when Driver was given an $80,000 bond. Holmes was denied bond and has another court date set for March 7. Family said that the two have no money and are currently trying to find an attorney – hoping to be represented pro-bono. Family is also working to set up a GoFundMe account for funeral expenses.
The 3-year-old child remains in state custody but family said that they remain in contact with the child.