Thelma Denise Lowery, the Milton day care owner accused in the death of 16-month-old Brodie Michael Kent, was indicted on a first-degree murder charge.
William Eddins, state attorney for the First Judicial Circuit, announced the indictment, which was returned Nov. 4, on Wednesday.
Investigators said Kent died as a result of injuries sustained Oct. 24 while in the care of Lowery, owner of Lowery’s Little Angels Day Care. Police said his injuries were consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Lowery was arrested Oct. 26 and initially charged with felony first-degree aggravated child abuse. However, following Kent’s Oct. 29 death, First Judicial Circuit State Attorney Bill Eddins upgraded charges against her to include second-degree murder.
“Under the law, second-degree murder has a penalty of up to life in prison,” Eddins said, adding that life in prison is the steepest available sentence; the punishment could be less time. “If we indict for first-degree murder, there are two options: mandatory life in prison and death.”
Lowery is being held without bond.
Read more in the Nov. 20 issue of the Navarre Press or subscribe online here.