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Child neglect investigated in years before girl's death

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Before 4-year-old Ty’Asia Phillips was removed from life support and died March 17 after what authorities say was a brutal beating by her father, there had been three calls to child protective services stating concerns over her well-being, documents obtained by The Augusta Chron­icle show.

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Willie C. Jones, 22, is charged with murder in the death of his daughter, Ty'Asia Phillips, 4.  SPECIAL
Willie C. Jones, 22, is charged with murder in the death of his daughter, Ty'Asia Phillips, 4.

Sandy Hodson
Database Reporter
E-mail | 706-823-3226

The Department of Family and Children Services was first called when Ty’Asia was in the hospital in January 2009, according to agency files secured in an open-records request. The reason for the hospitalization and other facts about the case were deleted from the report.

When her mother came to visit, she brought another child, and both appeared dirty and unkempt, the complaint states. A DFCS caseworker interviewed the mother, who explained that she had to walk to the hospital with her other child.

The caseworker determined Ty’Asia would be living with her mother and maternal grandmother, who was supportive and who maintained a safe home, and closed the case.

A few months later, DFCS was called again. The mother had not been visiting Ty’Asia regularly in the hospital, and when she did show up she brought along different men or family members, the case file states. No one held the baby during the brief visits, leading a hospital worker to believe there was no bonding with the child. Though the mother had attended parenting meetings, there were worries about Ty’Asia’s safety because she would need special care after her release. The social worker decided there wasn’t any danger, especially in light of the grandmother’s decision to seek guardianship. The caseworker referred the family to support services, and the case was closed in May 2009.

Last Nov. 11, someone called DFCS after Ty’Asia arrived at her day care center with bruises on her face that looked like thumbprints. The social worker was told that Ty’Asia looked as though she had lost 3 to 4 pounds in one week.

When Ty’Asia’s family was questioned about the bruising, another child in the home confessed to pinching Ty’Asia’s face, according to the DFCS file. The case was closed for lack of any significant evidence of maltreatment.

Ty’Asia’s grandmother sent her to stay with her father, Willie C. Jones, on Feb. 26 – the first time the girl had lived with him – because she was going to have surgery, according to statements made in court during Jones’ bond hearing last month. Ty’Asia’s mother was not stable enough to be responsible for the child, and there wasn’t anyone else to keep her, the DFCS file states.

Jones’ family also wanted to establish a relationship with Ty’Asia, and her maternal grandmother believed other adult family members were living with Jones.

Someone from the maternal side of the family called and spoke to Ty’Asia regularly, the DFCS file states. Asked whether she was eating and having fun, the child said yes.

Her grandmother intended to retrieve Ty’Asia the week of March 11.

According to Jones, the girl played outside with her cousins all day March 11, breaking only for pizza and a drink. After coming inside around 6 p.m., Jones said, Ty’Asia collapsed on the floor, unable to breathe. When splashing cold water on her didn’t work, Jones called relatives in a panic, the DFCS file says.

Jones told a DFCS worker that someone else had abused Ty’Asia. He disciplined her only by twice making her stand in a corner, the file stated. Jones blamed the maternal side of Ty’Asia’s family and accused them of abandoning her.

Three children told investigators, however, that Ty’Asia’s father beat her that day with a belt until it broke, then used a curtain rod and a shoe. At some point, Ty’Asia was burned by a heater in the home. The doctor who examined her believed all of the injuries were caused at the same time.

Sheriff’s investigators said Jones later admitted to beating Ty’Asia. He has been charged with murder in her death.

At the time of Ty’Asia’s injuries, Jones was on probation for aggravated assault and terroristic threats. According to the prosecution file obtained by The Chronicle, Jones was off his psychiatric medication and crazed with anger when he attacked an ex-girlfriend and her friend, April Dunn and Willie Reid.

A district attorney file states that Jones and Dunn had a child together. She told sheriff’s investigators that she left Jones because he was physically abusive. She went to stay with Reid, an older friend who had lost a leg.

Three times on Sept. 10, 2008, Jones went to Reid’s Wrights­boro Road home and demanded Dunn return to him. At one point he yanked her out of a vehicle and hit her in the mouth with his hand before grabbing one of Reid’s crutches to hit her, it was reported.

“I come to kill you,” Reid quoted Jones as saying the third time he came to the house. Jones was clutching a large butcher knife, and when he pulled on the screen door, Reid fired a shotgun.

Investigators determined that Reid acted in self-defense. They charged Jones with kidnapping and aggravated assault.

On Feb. 26, 2009, Jones pleaded guilty to reduced charges of aggravated assault and terroristic threats. Judge Michael N. Annis sentenced him to five years’ probation under the First Offender Act.

The judge ordered Jones to obtain his GED, undergo drug and alcohol counseling, receive mental health treatment and attend a domestic violence prevention program. He also ordered Jones to perform 200 hours of community service and to stay away from Dunn and Reid.

If Annis determines that Jones has violated those conditions, as his probation officer contended in a warrant obtained March 13, he could resentence Jones to as long as 27 years in prison.

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KSL 05/06/12 - 03:36 am
Some people should not be

Some people should not be allowed to have children.

GaStang22 05/06/12 - 05:11 am
That poor child, so many

That poor child, so many people failed her. Hes so abusive yet no one called the cops for at the very least documentation of violence to protect the children that may had been subjected to this loser. I have wondered for a while did the grandmother know of his violence or did she not know him that well and the daughter hid everything? Hard to believe he didn't hit all or most the women he dated, or at least showed violent tendencies and no one even said a word to any family member leaving the grandmother 100% clueless and thinking he was a fit caretaker. If it was totally hidden from her my heart breaks for her and I offer her my deepest condolences. As for the waste of flesh that killed little Ty’Asia, I hope sooner than later he gets more than what he gave!!

That precious baby could never do anything to deserve this. May God Bless that little angel in Heaven with all the love and joy she deserves.

CobaltGeorge 05/06/12 - 07:17 am
Heck KSL, some people should

Heck KSL, some people should not be allowed to walk among civilized humans.

seenitB4 05/06/12 - 07:35 am
I agree sad

I agree sad ....beat her til the belt broke....what hell this child was in day after day.

Delirious58 05/06/12 - 08:28 am
This is so sad. I'm

This is so sad. I'm constantly asking myself , how can someone beat a small toddler so abusively.It's appears the so called MOTHER has mental issues too.

cytoranger 05/06/12 - 09:45 am
Si sick of reading of child

Si sick of reading of child abuse, sexual, physical , verbal and somas e
So severe it leads to the death of the child have a brother in the military. His ex abused their children while he was in iraq. Took over a year to get him state side, prove the mothers incompetence , convince DFACS her ankd at Ft, benign she was who she was and get her children removed and with other family. My brother got full custody of his his daughter, her mom got the buys as they were not his biologically. They bare all doing well now with fsmily who love and care for them. She has moved on to produce her additional kids who are with her. I pray for those babies every day as I am pretty sure I know of the neglectful enkviorment they are raised in. jDfacs often turns a blind eye assuming the mom is the better caregiver, maternal instinct my a$&@&, her father is the greatest, and she is now a happy flourishing 9yo shoe excels in school, and loves her dad unconditionally. When he deploys others in our family care for her until he returns. we love her and know she is in a much better place. God bless Judge Flannagin for seeing throughout he BS that DFACS presented and seeing this mom for who she was. I say do not give up estranged and proper parents , fight for your babies and stand the watch until they are safe from abuse and neglect. Sometimes a grandma , uncle ,aunt of military dad are what is best, not the party like a rock star cause dad is gone mom who places herself, her boyfriends and anything else self indulging above the safety and concrn of her babies, Susan Smith is the appitamy of what I speak of. oh, my abaies are in the way so I will emove that obstacle and move on, Cassey Anthony is another . WTH is going on with parents today.

DHL49 05/06/12 - 10:50 am
This tragedy breaks my heart.

This tragedy breaks my heart. This baby lived and died in a world that ignored her. Her mother failed her. Her father murdered her. The government agencies set up to monitor and protect children failed, again and again. Lyndon Johnson, your war on poverty is lost. 45 years later, things are worse. Much, much worse. We have engineered a society that takes responsibility away from parents and teaches children to depend on the government for their care. Schools feed our children because they are hungry and we've stopped asking why no one is feeding this hungry kid at home? The big losers are the children. The very ones these programs are set up to help. There is no substitute for a "real" family. Get angry if you will, but to me "real" means 2 ADULTS that have decided to commit to work together for good of their children and each other. I'm not saying child abuse is new since 1967, I'm saying giving pregnant teenagers a $400 welfare check, medicade, some food stamps and a "free" home in a crime ridden ghetto, does not create a mother, or a family. Let's remember this baby. The one no recognized as "precious," and let us all start over. Not divided by politics. Not divided by religion. Working together to scrap this travesty and start all over. May this precious, neglected, tortured child finally find peace in the arms of her savior. There was none for her in our world.

keeanzia 05/06/12 - 11:24 am
Sad, this makes me so mad.

Sad, this makes me so mad. Ty'Asia is now in a peaceful sleep. No more harm can be done to her.

Willow Bailey
Willow Bailey 05/06/12 - 01:26 pm
Well spoken DHL49

Well spoken DHL49

CobaltGeorge 05/06/12 - 06:18 pm
I second that, Willow.

I second that, Willow.

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