Grandma arrested in baby’s slaying

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, September 8, 2004

MONTICELLO – A grandmother was arrested Tuesday afternoon oncharges killing her four-month-old granddaughter two monthsago.

Mary P. Grandberry, 52, was charged with capital murder in thedeath of Daria K’Mya Grandberry, who was born March 19 and died ofinternal hemorrhaging July 21 at Marion General Hospital. Theinfant was the daughter of Keisha Grandberry of Monticello.

“She was murdered by torture,” said Doug Miller, assistantdistrict attorney for the 15th Judicial Court District.

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Miller would not comment on the nature of the infant’s injuriesor how they were caused.

“I don’t want to reveal that until trial,” he said. “This isprobably the most horrendous death involving a child I’ve ever hadto deal with.”

Initial reports by law enforcement officials referred to acoroner’s report stating the infant died from “complicationsresulting from molestation.”

“The molestation was part of it,” Lawrence County Sheriff JoelThames said.

Miller said a single incident caused the injuries that killedthe infant but would not comment on whether there were priorincidents involving the child.

A grandson and other family members also lived with Grandberryand her husband. Two granddaughters also lived with their parentsin a trailer on the property, Thames said.

“There was another grandchild living in the house at the time ofthe abuse,” Miller said. “That child was removed from the householda few days ago.”

There was no indication that either the grandson or the othertwo granddaughters had been abused, Thames said.

Miller said other relatives and acquaintances had beenquestioned in the investigation.

“We have questioned everyone who had any contact with the childsince a day or two before her death,” Miller said, adding thateveryone who had contact with the child during that time wasconsidered a suspect until cleared by evidence.

Investigators had been waiting for results of a crucial lab testbefore making any arrests, Thames said last week.

Thames on Tuesday would not say what type of test implicatedMary Grandberry in the slaying but conceded the test results werepart of the evidence against her.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain has said inother media that DNA tests conducted on the baby helped shift thedirection of the investigation.

Many agencies coordinated in the case, Thames said, includinginvestigators with the Brookhaven and Columbia police departments,the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, the Department of HumanServices, the district attorney’s office and his department.

Mary Grandberry is being held at the Lawrence County Jailpending an initial hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. today to determinebond and other pretrial issues, Miller said. Bond is generally notgranted in capital murder cases.

The next major development in the case will likely come when thecase is presented to the grand jury in December.