A Navy Sailor and his wife are behind bars after they tortured and attempted to lynch their 7-month-old son- and filmed the whole thing on a cell phone.
24-year-old Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Harrell and 23-year-old Latoya Harrell have been charged with first-degree Child Cruelty in the aftermath of the horrendous incident, which took place at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Camden County, Georgia.
PO3 Harrell filmed his wife as she poured a full bottle of water on their child, who was on his lying on his back. According to police reports, Mrs. Harrell was attempting to provoke PO3 Harrell.
The baby coughed and gagged on the water, but the father continued to film. After effectively waterboarding her own child, Mrs. Harrell grabbed a “belt or scarf-type object” and tied a noose around the baby’s neck, dangling him in the air.
Still doing nothing, PO3 Harrell simply filmed as his own son was lynched, his eyes bulging and legs dangling.
Mrs. Harrell dropped the child on the bed and left, prompting her husband to follow her.
According to News4Jax, Harrell said his wife is mentally ill and is not taking her medication, noting that while he was filming the incident in order to provide evidence to Georgia’s Division of Family and Children’s Services, he should have called the police.
When Camden County deputies entered the home, they found a squalor unfit for human occupation- roaches, flies and rotting food were in the kitchen, while broken glass and dirty diapers covered the house. Doors were broken off the hinges and holes were found in the walls.
Kings Bay officials said that Harrell was transferred to the base in December of 2017 as a machinist mate, and that he works in an administration building. Navy spokesman Chris Tucker told News4Jax that the navy had yet to take action against the Sailor.
Local residents were horrified when they heard what happened to the infant.
“It’s kind of scary to believe in what area we’re at- you think that we’re in a great place that nothing like that happens, but it just shows that no matter where you are, anything can happen,” neighbor Mitzi Clem said.
The boy is now in state custody.
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