Georgia baby decapitation at birth case: Death ruled as homicide

Francis Akhalbey February 07, 2024
Jessica Ross has filed a lawsuit against the Southern Regional Medical Center and others -- Photo Credit: Family of Treveon Isaiah Taylor Jr./CNN

The Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled a baby’s death as a homicide after the minor was decapitated during delivery at an Atlanta-area hospital in July last year. Per WSBTV.com, the medical examiner’s report stated that the baby died as a result of “fracture-dislocation” of his upper cervical spine and spinal cord.

As previously reported by Face2Face Africa, Jessica Ross filed a lawsuit against the Southern Regional Medical Center and others alleging that a physician decapitated her baby after applying too much force during delivery.

The lawsuit, which was filed in August 2023, alleges that the hospital tried to hide the circumstances surrounding the baby’s death from his family, CNN reported. A family attorney also said Ross delivered the baby at full-term.

The lawsuit states that the July 9 incident occurred after Ross went into labor, adding that her doctor, Tracey St. Julian, “attempted to deliver the baby vaginally using different methods including applying traction to the baby’s head.”

The complaint alleges that “the baby did not properly descend due to shoulder dystocia.” This condition, per Cleveland Clinic, happens “when one or both of your baby’s shoulders get stuck during vaginal delivery.”

The lawsuit alleges that the doctor “failed to practice according to medical standards” and also “grossly” and “negligently applied excessive traction” on the baby’s neck and head, CNN reported. The complaint also states that the physician, who is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, “failed to do a Cesarean section in a timely and proper manner, resulting in Treveon Isaiah Taylor Jr.’s decapitation and death.”

The family’s attorney, Roderick Edmond, said the baby’s lower body was removed via the Cesarean section while his head came out via the vagina, The Associated Press reported. The attorney also said the baby’s death could have been avoided if the couple’s initial request for a Cesarean section wasn’t turned down. 

A family spokesperson in a statement said that hospital staff subsequently told Ross and Taylor that they were “not allowed to touch or hold their child” when the couple “demanded to see and hold their baby.”

“Hospital staff allowed the young couple to only view their dead child,” the statement added. “During this viewing, their baby was wrapped tightly in a blanket with his head propped on top of his body in a manner such that those viewing him could not identify that he had been decapitated.”

The lawsuit also states that the hospital staff initially tried to talk the couple out of getting an autopsy and also urged them to cremate their deceased son, per The Associated Press.

The Clayton County Police Department has since informed WSBTV.com that they have concluded investigations and handed their findings to the District Attorney’s office. It hasn’t been established if authorities will file charges.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 7, 2024

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