Josey student arrested in school bus confrontation

Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010 1:55 PM
Last updated 4:47 PM
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An 18-year-old Josey High School student was arrested this morning after she boarded a school bus with a box cutter, authorities said.

Kourtney Lashea Joe, of 2117 Second Ave., was seeking a confrontation with a 12-year-old girl who attends Southside Elementary, Richmond County schools spokesman Lou Svehla said.

Joe never got in contact with her target, Svehla said. She was arrested at the scene and charged with possession of a weapon in a school zone and making terroristic threats. Joe boarded the bus on Third Avenue at Bolt Drive.

It was not immediately clear whether she brandished the box cutter, but Svehla said no one was hurt in the incident. The bus driver called the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, which arrived first on the scene, followed shortly by school safety officers.

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staind620
1
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staind620 11/17/10 - 03:03 pm
0
0
Are you serious? An 18 year

Are you serious? An 18 year old student needs a box cutter to win a fight and/or prove a point to a 12 year old? There is seriously something wrong with the youth of today!

bettyboop
7
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bettyboop 11/17/10 - 04:37 pm
0
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No way an Adult student

No way an Adult student should be riding a school bus with Children!

RoadkiII
6630
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RoadkiII 11/17/10 - 05:06 pm
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18 y/o needs a weapon to

18 y/o needs a weapon to fight a 12 y/o??? You gotta be kidding!

corgimom
33163
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corgimom 11/17/10 - 05:09 pm
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AC, 6/18/2003-Violent history

AC, 6/18/2003-Violent history plagued youth

By Staff Writer

Twelve-year-old Anthony Joe Jr. asked his two sisters to count to 30. He was about to perform a magic trick.

Photos
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Anthony was going to make 18-month-old Tajsha Adams go to sleep, he said. Sure enough, when he carried the girl into the bedroom, she was crying. When Anthony returned, she wasn't.

Tajsha would never cry again after that day.

Regina Youmans returned home from a holiday shopping trip with Anthony's father and found her niece lying limp on the bed with her eyes half-open. Tajsha was not breathing and would never recover from what police describe as a brutal beating.

Tajsha died a week later, on Dec. 21, 2001, after being removed from life support. Anthony, a sixth-grader, was charged with murder.

When he was convicted in juvenile court a few months later, Judge Herbert Kernaghan Jr. sealed the sentence, barring the public from knowing the outcome of the charges.

The investigative file, which is separate from the sentencing file, was recently obtained by The Augusta Chronicle through Georgia's Open Record laws. It shows that Anthony Joe Sr. and Ms. Youmans knew the 12-year-old had violent tendencies. The lead investigator says it was clear the boy should not have been left alone with his younger sisters to baby-sit an infant.

A boy's denial

Investigator Scott White was working late the weekend before Christmas 2001 when he was called to Medical College of Georgia Hospital. Tajsha was lying sprawled out on the hospital bed with a neck brace, an IV and countless tubes connected to her tiny body.

Lynne Coule, the attending physician, told the officer that the girl had been brought in with no pulse. While trying to resuscitate Tajsha, the doctor noticed deep bruises on her face, stomach and shoulder.

An exam revealed a broken rib, lacerated liver, blood in her urine and contusions on her spleen and right kidney. The bruises looked recent, Dr. Coule said.

"The injuries were deliberate," Investigator White said in a recent interview. "This wasn't an accident. An infant this small couldn't have received injuries (like this) from any kind of accident."

The investigator needed answers.

He took Ms. Youmans, the girl's aunt, who had found her, to the criminal investigative division at 401 Walton Way to find out what had happened.

Ms. Youmans told him that Tajsha was her sister's daughter and that she cared for her on a regular basis. The girl's mother, Shameco Adams, lived in Atlanta, where she went to school.

Ms. Youmans said she had been keeping Tajsha for about two weeks. They were staying with her fiance, Anthony Joe Sr., in his apartment at Cherry Tree Crossing, a public housing community off 15th Street.

Ms. Youmans said she had only left the apartment twice that day.

The investigator ended the interview and asked to speak to Anthony. By then, it was 2 in the morning.

Anthony told the officer that he did not see Tajsha fall or injure herself at any time. But he did not do anything to hurt the girl, he said. She had been sleeping all day.

Because of the time, police decided to end the interview and talk with Anthony later.

The next night, Gloria Daniels, Tajsha's grandmother, called police and said she had heard through relatives that Anthony had admitted shaking the girl.

Investigator White asked Ms. Daniels to come immediately to the Law Enforcement Center.

She told police she had heard that Tajsha was injured because she was crying and Anthony wanted to make her stop. The boy's sisters - Carolyn Joe, 11, and Kourtney Joe, 9 - had seen their brother shaking Tajsha but didn't want to talk about it because they were scared.

Nineteen hours after the investigation started, Investigator White sat down with Tajsha's mother, who had arrived by bus from Atlanta.

Ms. Adams had begun to hear family rumors about what had happened. She heard about a magic trick, a locked door and the silence that followed. She had heard that no one knew what Anthony had done in that bedroom to quiet the toddler.

At the end of her statement, Ms. Adams told the investigator that she had been trying to get Tajsha back from her sister for two weeks. She said Ms. Youmans had promised to bring her daughter back the previous Wednesday, but then changed it to Friday, then Sunday, then the next Wednesday.

Her sister kept giving her excuses as to why she couldn't bring the girl back to Atlanta.

Details emerge

After the victim's mother left police headquarters, Investigator White turned his attention to the boy's mother, Trinaca Moore, who was waiting to be interviewed.

Ms. Moore told police about picking up her three children at the request of social workers. She said she heard what happened to Tajsha and went by the hospital, where she prayed out loud, asking God to give the family some answers.

Her daughters began telling her that Anthony had raised the toddler up by her arms and shook her hard.

Anthony had then admitted to his mother that he had shaken the baby during his so-called magic trick, when he asked his sisters to count to 30. He told his mother that he was just trying to get the baby to sleep.

But there was more.

Anthony had been on Ritalin, Ms. Moore told the investigator. He had been diagnosed with a behavioral disorder when he was 7. Recently, though, Anthony's father had taken him off the medication because he didn't think the boy needed it anymore.

The mother admitted that her son was known to have violent outbursts. He had even attacked one of his teachers, she said.

Records from Tubman Middle School showed that Anthony was frequently disciplined for breaking the rules, fighting and disorderly conduct. He was given in-school suspension, and when that didn't seem to work, school officials ordered home suspension.

Math teacher Samantha Nobles recalls the boy's temper tantrums.

"He was constantly being called to the office because of his behavior," she said. "But when he came to me, he did fairly well. I am a strict disciplinarian. I think he missed that at home. After he knew he couldn't get away with anything, he stopped."

Ms. Nobles said she was distraught when she heard that Anthony might have killed a little girl.

"It really did break my heart," she said. "He shouldn't have been placed in that situation."

She said the Ritalin might have helped settle the boy's temper.

"Without Ritalin, they are like a bouncing ball, bouncing off the walls and ricocheting," she said. "When they are used to taking the medication, and you take them off, they are unmanageable."

The pillow incident

Back at the police station, Investigator White needed eyewitnesses. He wanted to talk to Anthony's sisters. What did they see?

The officer called in Kourtney and started his tape recorder.

When her father and Ms. Youmans went to the store, Kourtney said, she was left at home with her brother, sister and the toddler. Her 11-year-old sister was about to put Tajsha to bed when Anthony started to shake the girl by her arms. He shook her "real fast and hard," she said. That made Tajsha cry.

Soon, Tajsha fell asleep. But each time she fell asleep, Anthony would wake her up by pulling on her arm or leg. Kourtney said she didn't know why Anthony kept waking her.

Then came the magic trick. Anthony disappeared into the bedroom with Tajsha. When Anthony emerged, Kourtney peeked inside. Tajsha appeared to be sleeping, she said.

Her brother's violent shaking didn't surprise Kourtney. About two months before, Anthony had put a pillow over her face during an argument.

She had told Anthony that she couldn't breathe, but he kept the pillow on her face. Finally, their grandmother heard the commotion and came into the living room to stop Anthony.

Carolyn Joe, 11, told police a similar story. But she recalled asking Anthony what he did in the bedroom with Tajsha. Anthony claimed he had put Tajsha to sleep by placing her on her stomach and rubbing her back.

Investigator White was done interviewing the boy's sisters, and a clear picture was emerging of a troubled boy. But he wanted to confront the 12-year-old about his earlier statements.

Back at the Law Enforcement Center, Anthony quickly admitted that he had not told the truth. He had lied because he was scared, he said.

He admitted shaking Tajsha. When she started crying, he said, he stopped. Later, he saw that Tajsha was getting sleepy, so he told his sisters that he "bet he could do magic and make Shay go to sleep," according to his statement to police.

In the bedroom, Anthony said, he placed her on her stomach and rubbed her back. She didn't go to sleep, so he told his sisters to start counting again. But then she finally went to sleep.

Investigator White asked about the pillow incident.

Anthony said he had gotten into an argument with his sister and threw a pillow at her head. He never tried to suffocate her, he said.

Asked about the Ritalin, Anthony said he had asked his father if he could stop taking it. He said he didn't like taking it, so his dad gave in.

Anthony admitted he was "being bad" after he went off the Ritalin.

But what had triggered Anthony's anger? What had made him so furious that he would violently shake a little girl or even beat her unconscious?

Police soon found a possible explanation. In a follow-up interview with Investigator Richard Roundtree, Ms. Youmans mentioned that Anthony had been put on restriction by his father that Saturday for his behavior. In fact, for much of the day, he had been confined to his bedroom.

Lessons learned

Back at the hospital, four days after Tajsha's aunt had rushed her there, doctors confirmed to police that there were no signs of brain activity. When two more days had passed, Tajsha was removed from a respirator and died.

Investigator White jotted the official cause of death in his notes: "Blunt sub dominal trauma, complicated by severe acidosis and irreversible shock, with multi-system organ failure."

Police charged Anthony with murder Dec. 22, 2001, and the story was front-page news.

However, investigators were silent about the case after Judge Kernaghan decided to seal it. Nothing was ever said publicly about it again.

Questioned last week about the outcome of the case, Judge Kernaghan said he committed the boy to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice, with a recommendation that he be placed in a treatment facility. The type of facility and the length of commitment was to be determined by department officials, the judge said.

Judge Kernaghan would not comment further on the charges. He said that legally the case had to be closed because the defendant was under 13 years of age.

Authorities considered charging Anthony's father and Ms. Youmans with obstruction but decided against it.

Reached last month at Cherry Tree Crossing, Ms. Youmans said Anthony, now 14 years old, is a "normal, healthy, productive teenager."

"He's doing just fine," she said, declining further comment.

Bessie Booker, of New Ellenton, Tajsha's great-grandmother, said Anthony is being kept at a facility in Atlanta.

"I asked his daddy about him. He said he was OK," Ms. Booker said.

Ms. Booker keeps pictures of her great-granddaughter. In one, Tajsha has a frown on her face.

Just thinking about the case upsets Ms. Booker.

It also was upsetting for Investigator White, who is accustomed to dealing with suspects who have at least reached their teenage years. He was angered by what he considers the family's selfishness and irresponsibility.

"I just think that he had some erratic, violent tendencies based on what his own family members said," Investigator White said. "Common sense will tell you that if you have someone prone to violence, especially if you have someone at that age, you don't leave them at home with an infant."

There are lessons in the case, he said.

"I think parents should take an objective look at the caregivers for their children, no matter how old they are, rather than leave them there out of convenience.

"And responsibility is a key factor. Best case scenario is, yes, someone takes care of your child. Worst case scenario is something happens to your child. And some chances just aren't worth being taken."

*************************************
Anthony Joe Jr. is now serving a 20-year prison sentence for murdering a cellist with the Augusta Symphony and was sentenced in August of this year.

Little Lamb
46405
Points
Little Lamb 11/17/10 - 05:10 pm
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They never searched the

They never searched the 12-year-old. She might have had a weapon, too!

lifelongresident
1323
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lifelongresident 11/17/10 - 05:11 pm
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you all don't understand,
Unpublished

you all don't understand, "she's a special needs student" who has a mind/mentality of a 12 year old so this makes it ok....of course she will get a slap on the wrist(3 days suspension, 1 week ISS and option to go to the knuckleghead...ooops i mean the alternative school). remember lienancy is given to justify keeping attendance levels up to kepp the state/federal money coming in....right ms. cain???

corgimom
33163
Points
corgimom 11/17/10 - 05:24 pm
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Well, she doesn't have to

Well, she doesn't have to worry about 12 year olds at the moment- she's at 401 with no bond.

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 11/17/10 - 06:30 pm
0
0
Generational criminal

Generational criminal behavior......and the beat goes on.

Cadence
219
Points
Cadence 11/17/10 - 07:02 pm
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What an awful story. Thank

What an awful story. Thank you for posting it.

Farmboy
954
Points
Farmboy 11/17/10 - 07:36 pm
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0
Arrested? A student in that

Arrested? A student in that area? Your kidding. I can't believe it.

AugustaVoter
2
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AugustaVoter 11/17/10 - 09:51 pm
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0
That was long post Corgi, but

That was long post Corgi, but well worth it! That just shows the cycle continues. Anthony is still in prison for another murder and now this woman is trying to follow suit. I find it interesting how the other financial cycle continues as well. The story happened in Cherry Tree. She resides on 2nd Ave. Neither are very stable neighborhoods or financially well off. I see her mother or guardian never made it out of the "hood".

AugustaVoter
2
Points
AugustaVoter 11/17/10 - 09:52 pm
0
0
Plus an elementary student at

Plus an elementary student at 12? She should be at least in the 6th grade if not 7th...

bdouglas
5135
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bdouglas 11/18/10 - 09:14 am
0
0
Hmm... Either the reporting

Hmm... Either the reporting isn't accurate (face it, it's likely) or this is a different "Kourtney Joe" than the one in the story Corgimom posted. If she was 9 at the time of the story in 2003 as it states, then she would only be 16 or 17 now depending on when her birthday falls... Not 18 as reported in the current story.

corgimom
33163
Points
corgimom 11/18/10 - 09:37 am
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Bdouglas, no, go back and

Bdouglas, no, go back and read the story. The murder was in December 2001, almost 9 years ago. The STORY was written in 2003.

butterflygina
159
Points
butterflygina 11/18/10 - 10:12 am
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Corgimom, thanks for posting.

Corgimom, thanks for posting. While reading I remembered reading about this a few years back and when you told about Joe's recent trouble, I just want to know what type of any, counseling the sisters received after this incident? Probably none. The cycle continues. And it is so very, very sad. Children raising themselves, with nothing but tv and video games to show them how to make it...

seenitB4
88167
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seenitB4 11/18/10 - 11:27 am
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Thanks for posting that

Thanks for posting that corgi....the beat goes on & on ....this happens more than most realize-----kids aren't wanted--have to fend for themselves---this is what you get...the cycle continues..

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 11/18/10 - 12:13 pm
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Thanks for the long post

Thanks for the long post corgi, hopefully the next one will be a couple of thousand words longer and the one after that will be another 2,000 words longer. Genius.

bdouglas
5135
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bdouglas 11/18/10 - 12:14 pm
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@corgimom Good call. Missed

@corgimom Good call. Missed that line toward the beginning.

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