Mom charged in son’s death found not fit for trial

Oralandar Brand-Williams

A Detroit woman who fled to a psychiatric clinic before her young son was found dead in her bed was found incompetent Wednesday to stand trial in his death.

Deanna Shanta Minor, 28, was in court before 36th District Judge Shannon Holmes to determine if she was mentally and criminally responsible in the death of Aaron Minor, 3. She will be admitted to a local psychiatric center for treatment. Holmes set a March 3, 2017, date for a hearing for an update on Minor’s progress and the case.

Police said Deanna Minor was found in a Downriver crisis center after the discovery of her child’s body, which was found decomposing in a bed in his mother’s apartment around 2:40 p.m. May 25.

Police were called to the apartment at 4434 Trumbull on a report that a deceased child was discovered there. The boy’s death was ruled a homicide by the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The mother was charged with felony murder (child abuse), second-degree murder, first- and second-degree child abuse, and failure to report a dead body.

Two social workers, Elaina Brown, 24, and Kelly M. Williams, 47, both Wayne County residents, have also been charged in Aaron Minor’s death.

Brown and Williams, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, were grossly negligent and reckless in connection with their treatment of the case involving the boy and his mother.

The women “did cause the death of Aaron Minor” due to their gross negligent failure to “perform (a) legal duty” to protect the well-being and safety of the boy, the prosecutor’s office said. It accused Brown and Williams of ignoring reports that Deanna Minor was becoming more incapable of caring for her son due to her mental illness and that the child was becoming more at risk of being harmed.

Brown and Williams also caused serious physical harm by knowingly or intentionally committing an act that likely would result in serious physical harm to the child, according to the prosecutor’s office. The women failed to develop a safety plan and monitor the well-being of the child, according to the prosecutor’s office.

The boy’s body was found by a maintenance man at the Madison Estates complex in the Woodbridge neighborhood, near Wayne State University, after a foul odor drew his attention. There were no signs of trauma inside the mother’s apartment, according to authorities.

Deanna Minor’s relatives say she was hospitalized because she “had some problems” with depression but that they believed she was working with a social service agency.

“Deanna had some problems, but social services was supposed to be working with her,” Minor’s grandmother, Beverly Mylum, said in a Detroit News interview last May. “She was a loving and giving mother. I didn’t see any signs of abuse.

“She was going through depression for a very long time. She just snapped. She was quiet. I have no knowledge of alcohol or drugs.”

Mylum described Aaron as an average toddler who was always well-groomed. The woman said Deanna Minor maintained a clean home.

Authorities say the child’s father has been incarcerated for a long time.

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