Mother also charged in death of infant son in Rocky Mount

WTVD logo
Thursday, August 23, 2018

ROCKY MOUNT, NC (WTVD) -- One week after a father was charged in connection with the death of his infant son, the child's mother is also facing charges.

Kahlid Mohammed Whitehead, 23, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of the infant last week. Now, 22-year-old Keyona Mercer is also facing a murder charge.

Note: The video in the media player above is from the previous story.

She was also charged with felony obstruction and is being held on no bond.

On Aug. 12, Rocky Mount police responded to the 400 block of Sled Court and found the child unresponsive. The baby was pronounced dead at the scene and taken to the medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

The Medical Examiner's Office advised the Rocky Mount Police Department on Monday evening that the child's death was not by natural causes. The injuries were consistent with abusive head trauma.

It was at that time that police arrested Whitehead.

Stefon Noel lives in the same complex above where this incident happened.

"All I know is that she came running to my house and said her baby was dead, so I came down here and he was dead. She called the ambulance and they came out here. That's all I know," Noel told ABC11 last week.

Noel was stunned at the arrest.

"That man ain't hurt his child -- like, I know him," Noel said. "That man ain't going to hurt his child. I know this for a fact. It's sad for the family and they're taking them through a lot. They already lost their child - you feel what I'm saying? And to be charged with your child's murder: That hurts."

Another neighbor, who didn't want to be identified, described the couple as good parents and said they believe it was "an accident."

"I'm not going to stand up here and blame them for whatever happened to the baby. I don't know what happened to the baby but I really can't see it in my heart to believe that they did anything like that to their child because they are good parents," the neighbor said. "We've all sat at here and talked and played with the baby and everything. I just can't believe what they say happened. I just can't believe it. He was just a beautiful baby, and it's just sad -- it's just sad."