Bond granted for parents of dead Augusta infant

Willie Hooper looks back at a friend after being denied bond during a hearing. Hooper is charged with murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, burglary and armed robbery in connection with the events that led to the death of 20-year-old Charlie Jones III.

The parents of a 5-month-old child found dead in a roach-infested trailer were granted a bond of $20,000 apiece Friday by Superior Court Judge William Fleming.

Aileen Wright, 26, and Nicholas Womack, 24, are both charged with cruelty to children in the second degree and four counts of contributing to the deprivation of a minor after authorities entered their trailer at Pine View mobile home park in the 2000 block of Gordon Highway on April 15.

The child was found dead in his playpen, covered in bites from roaches and rodents, Assistant District Attorney Keith Johnson said Friday.

“This is a very disturbing case, judge,” Johnson said after describing a home crawling with roaches, no running water and lit by a string of Christmas lights on the floor.

The four counts of contributing to the deprivation of a minor involve the four other children belonging to the married couple. Those children, who range in age from 1 to 6, were physically fine and are in custody of the Department of Family and Child Services.

In arguing for a reasonable bond, Assistant Public Defender Todd Mitchell acknowledged that the living conditions were not ideal.

“But I don’t see how Christmas lights on the floor contributed to the death of the child,” he said.

Fleming granted bond on the condition that the parents have no contact with the children until the case is over.

Also Friday, bond was denied for one of three people charged in a fatal home invasion. Willie Hooper is charged with murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, burglary and armed robbery in connection with the events that led to the death of 20-year-old Charlie Jones III.

Prosecutors said Friday that Hooper and his co-defendants, Ronny Bonner and Deandre Brown, burst into a home in the 1400 block of Ridgewood Drive about 3 a.m. March 29 with the intention of robbing Jones of drugs.

Shots were fired from an AK-47 and semi-automatic handgun, wounding Jones’ roommate, James Wright, 19, and killing Jones as he slept, Johnson said.

Brown was in court Friday, but his bond hearing was continued until an attorney is hired. Bonner remains in jail.

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