Originally created 03/06/02

Mom testifies in toddler death



AIKEN - Sixteen-month-old Davon Allen died from a beating, investigators say.

In court Tuesday, the boy's mother said who inflicted the blows to the North Augusta toddler's stomach and head before he was found April 26.

Amy Hughes, 23, testified in the trial of her former boyfriend Lucas Lorenzo Bailey at the Aiken County Courthouse. Mr. Bailey, 20, faces life in prison if convicted of killing the child.

Ms. Hughes described how she heard two "hits," the day before and day of her child's death. She then heard her baby crying.

She said the sounds came from rooms where Mr. Bailey was with the baby - first in the kitchen, then the next afternoon in the bedroom of Ms. Hughes' house on Radiance Drive.

She testified that she and Mr. Bailey were the only two people in the house.

"I didn't see it, but I know he died because he was beaten," Ms. Hughes said.

Ms. Hughes wept when she was shown photos of the dead baby on her bed. She said the baby had been moved from the place she left him that afternoon.

Ms. Hughes testified she had driven Mr. Bailey's mother to the store and gas station and came home to find police.

The baby was sick before his death, and Ms. Hughes said she originally thought she overdosed the baby on cold medicine.

Mr. Bailey made a frantic call to 911 about 6 p.m., telling the dispatcher: "My old lady's baby stopped breathing. Y'all need to hurry up."

The baby was dead when police arrived, and officials estimated he had been beaten hours earlier.

Police arrested both Mr. Bailey and Ms. Hughes, but Ms. Hughes said Tuesday that she had received no promises for her testimony.

The two defendants sent letters to each other while they awaited trial. Ms. Hughes said she lied in the letters, falsely telling Mr. Bailey she still loved him to get him to confess to the crime.

"I figured if he killed my baby, I didn't want to love someone who had killed my son," Ms. Hughes said. "I know in my heart he did it, but I didn't see him do it."

Reach Matthew Boedy at (803) 648-1395 or matthew.boedy@augustachronicle.com.

WHAT'S NEXT: The trial of a man accused of killing a North Augusta toddler is expected to end today.