Grandmother of dead 4-year-old said she didn't know girl's father's criminal past

The grandmother of Ty’Asia Phillips said Monday that she would have never let the 4-year-old girl stay with her father if she’d known he’d been convicted of aggravated assault and terroristic threats.


Willie C. Jones is charged with murder in Ty’Asia’s death March 17, when she was taken off life support after being beaten because she didn’t know her ABCs, according to Richmond County Sheriff’s Office reports.

Aundra Davis, the child’s grandmother, said she was unaware of Jones’ criminal record.

Ty’Asia’s mother knew Jones had been shot, but he told her it was an accident.

Jones was shot by a man who investigators believed was acting in self-defense as Jones advanced with a butcher knife and threats to kill.

Davis said she let Ty’Asia stay with Jones while she recovered from surgery because she believed Jones lived with his mother and sister.

“They were her family, too, and his mother wanted to bond with Ty’Asia like she had with her other grandchildren. As a grandmother I could understand that,” Davis said.

The Department of Children and Family Serv­ices was contacted about Ty’Asia and her little brother three times before Ty’Asia’s death.

Both children lived with Davis.

According to the DFCS heavily redacted documents obtained through the state’s Open Records Act, the first two calls came from hospital workers who were worried about possible neglect of Ty’Asia by her mother and her ability to take care of Ty’Asia’s little brother because of his extensive medical needs.

After Davis took over the boy’s guardianship, the DFCS case was closed.

The third call to DFCS was made after Davis’ grandson returned to day care from a week’s absence with bruises on his cheeks that resembled thumbprints. Ty’Asia had grabbed the boy’s face while playing, Davis said.

The child is on a feeding tube and has had multiple gastric surgeries, Davis said. That case was also closed as unfounded.

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