Case continues against woman charged in tot’s stabbing death
Prosecution of an Augusta woman charged with the stabbing death of her toddler will continue.
Columbia County Magistrate Judge Jason Troiano determined at a preliminary hearing Tuesday morning that there is enough evidence against Marina Mae Middlebrooks, 29, to proceed with prosecution in Superior Court.
Middlebrooks is charged with murder and cruelty to children in the death of her daughter, Sky Lyric Allen, 2.
Middlebrooks’ Honda CRV struck a tree May 2 when it drifted off of Ray Owens Road in front of North Columbia Elementary School in Appling at about 4:20 p.m. Emergency medical personnel discovered Sky’s body while trying to help Middlebrooks.
“As (an emergency medical technician) was tending to Middlebrooks and they were attempting to get her out of the vehicle, (the EMT) observed a small hand sticking out from under some clothes under Ms. Middlebrooks’ legs on the driver’s side floorboard,” Columbia County sheriff’s Investigator James Edmunds said at the hearing.
Sky, who died from stab wound to the throat, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins.
“A pair of scissors were found covered in blood on the passenger seat,” Edmunds said.
Middlebrooks, who sustained several self-inflicted cuts and stab wounds, was airlifted to a hospital where sheriff’s office investigators interviewed her. After her release from the hospital and a second interview May 6, she was arrested.
Middlebrooks’ attorney, Richard E. Allen, said she previously had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and attempted suicide earlier the same day.
Edmunds said Middlebrooks’ demeanor would change quickly during the second interview, but that “When I spoke to her, she appeared to be rational.”
Middlebrooks told investigators that she took Sky and her 4-year-old son to a motel in Columbia County on May 1, but returned to her Norton Boulevard home because the children didn’t want to stay in a motel. The children’s father said he slept on the sofa that night and Middlebrooks was gone when Sky woke him the next morning.
When she returned, the children’s father, Michael Allen, said Middlebrooks had a bandage on her wrist and was “acting real strange.”
Middlebrooks told investigators that she went back to the motel and cut her wrists there. She “snapped out of it,” wrapped a towel around her wrist and went home.
“She stated she doesn’t remember anything else,” Edmunds said.
Middlebrooks left her son, Michael Allen Jr., at home alone. The boy told investigators that when Middlebrooks left with her daughter that “Sky was naked and Mommy was mad.”
Sky’s body was naked at the time of the wreck, and Middlebrooks was nude from the waist down.
Edmunds said there was no evidence to suggest Middlebrooks was raped or otherwise assaulted. Tests on blood found inside the vehicle are pending at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Atlanta.
The following accounts were taken from the Columbia County Sheriff’s office incident reports:
Teens report molestations
Two Columbia County teens told authorities recently that they were molested by family members years before.
A Harlem 18-year-old told deputies Friday that her mother’s stepbrother assaulted her multiple times in 2006 when she was 13 and 14 years old. She said she was visiting her father’s home, where the man also lived, and he would force her to perform sex acts on him and have sex with her.
The teen said she once woke with the man’s hand in her pants. The incidents always happened after her father and stepmother went to bed, she said.
The teen said she stopped visiting her father’s home because of the assaults. When she did visit, the teen said, the man would still try, but she refused.
A Martinez 17-year-old told her grandmother Saturday that she was sexually assaulted by her stepfather. The teen’s grandmother told deputies that the teen said her stepfather forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2010, when she was 15, in exchange for dropping juvenile charges he was filing against her.
The teen’s grandmother said the girl tried to tell her mother, who didn’t believe that her husband would do such things.
Fraudulent checks cashed
A Martinez woman called authorities Thursday after discovering someone cashed a fake check from her account at a casino.
She said someone got her checking account number and used her information to print checks. A $4,000 check was cashed at a casino in Lawton, Okla., under the name Kristine Harrington. Another check was cashed in Oklahoma under the name Shannon Harley.
The woman said she had her account frozen.
Someone shot man’s camper
An Appling man said someone shot his camper while he camped at Wildwood Park over Memorial Day weekend.
The 71-year-old man said he came home from camping on Sunday and discovered a bullet hole in his camper. The shot, which happened while he camped the previous night, went through the trailer and a table.