Suspect said he injured toddler

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The 19-year-old Augusta fugitive suspected of killing city symphony cellist David Reader admitted in late 2001 that he was responsible for the injuries that killed an 18-month-old toddler.

In juvenile court records obtained by The Augusta Chronicle on Sunday morning, a partial picture of Anthony G. Joe Jr. emerges. The records begin in December 2001, when Taj'sha Sierra Adams was rushed to the hospital with severe injuries, and Mr. Joe was sent to the Regional Youth Detention Center.

Mr. Joe, then 12, was initially accused of aggravated assault. The charge was upgraded to murder after the baby died. Brain injuries were caused by violent shaking, according to the juvenile court records. Blows broke a rib, lacerated her liver and bruised her spleen and kidneys.

The juvenile court case was postponed once because the sixth-grader was undergoing a mental evaluation and a second time because officials were awaiting Taj'sha's autopsy results.

Mr. Joe didn't stay in custody long. On May 13, 2002, he admitted to committing involuntary manslaughter. Then-Richmond County Juvenile Court Judge Herbert Kernaghan Jr. determined that Mr. Joe was a deprived child and transferred custody to the Department of Family and Children Services. He was sent to live with his paternal grandmother in Hephzibah.

The next year Mr. Joe was still under DFCS care but living in DeKalb County. He was charged with robbery in 2003 and spent some time in detention, Richmond County Juvenile Court Judge H. William Sams said Friday.

By November 2005, Mr. Joe was again living with his grandparents in south Augusta. According to his juvenile court records, that was when he and two other teenagers attacked a boy walking down Conniston Drive.

The victim told sheriff's deputies that he was hit in the back of the head with a brick. After he fell to the ground, Mr. Joe and the other two kicked and punched him in the head and body. According to the juvenile court records, the victim suffered cuts and bruises, broken ribs and a concussion.

Although Mr. Joe was committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice, if he was held in custody, it wasn't for long. On Jan. 10, 2006, less than two months after the attack on Conniston Drive, Mr. Joe and several other youths broke into a Gebhart Court home. According to the juvenile court records, Mr. Joe was detained in the Regional Youth Detention Center the next day. The records do not indicate how long he was detained.

Earlier this month, Richmond County sheriff's detectives obtained warrants against Mr. Joe and a 16-year-old boy. Both are accused of murder in the May 11 shooting death of Mr. Reader. According to witnesses, Mr. Reader was beaten and then shot after getting into an argument when he was cheated in a deal to buy marijuana.

At least two witnesses identified Mr. Joe as the one who shot Mr. Reader.

Sheriff's investigators are still searching for Mr. Joe.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

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Comments (39) Add comment
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LMS2005
0
Points
LMS2005 05/26/08 - 12:18 am
0
0
These judges need to wake up

These judges need to wake up and stop giving slaps on the wrist. Most criminals start at an early age and if not stopped they will keep going until something terrible happens, like murder (for the 2nd time in this case)

nightcop
0
Points
nightcop 05/26/08 - 12:39 am
0
0
juvenile court in richmond

juvenile court in richmond county is a complete joke. none of these punks have ever taken it seriously and the ones that do go to rydc just treat it as a home away from home.

christian134
1
Points
christian134 05/26/08 - 04:56 am
0
0
These so-called juveniles are

These so-called juveniles are for the most part, in my opinion, hardened criminals who have not one ounce of humanity in there little bodies....They are quickly becoming the norm instead of an anomaly due to the destruction of the family unit in general...Without the knowledge of right and wrong and with the continued idea that they are due any and everything no matter whom they harm with little or no consequences these acts of violence by "children" are just going to rapidly continue...

Dark Lord
2
Points
Dark Lord 05/26/08 - 05:17 am
0
0
Judge Kernaghan was the worst

Judge Kernaghan was the worst thing to ever happen in juvenile court in Richmond County. He was the biggest problem involving kids. If he would have done his job and locked these kids up most of them would not be able to be repeat violent offenders. All juveniles know that junenile court is a joke. No matter what you do you will get off free. OK, you may have to do 3 months and promise to be a good kid (Yeah Right).

yakirz
9
Points
yakirz 05/26/08 - 05:48 am
0
0
I hope this scumbag ends up
Unpublished

I hope this scumbag ends up in Jackson, strapped to a table with a needle in his arm. I'll enjoy reading about his execution.

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 05/26/08 - 06:09 am
0
0
The last place you should

The last place you should send these troubled kids is to a grandparent, they can't handle these kids. That's a sad situation, parents need to start parenting. To say he got off with a slap on the wrist for killing an infant is an understatement. He should have atleast been in a Mental Health Facility. He couldn't fix this on his own, as is apparent through his life accomplishments.

alrboettcher
0
Points
alrboettcher 05/26/08 - 06:36 am
0
0
So now he has killed two

So now he has killed two people...Is there a judge somewhere that will lock this poor excuse for a human being up and throw away the key? He has led a life of violence and crime and it is time for it to come to an end.

mahem1920
0
Points
mahem1920 05/26/08 - 06:39 am
0
0
"Mr" my azz!

"Mr" my azz!

ripjones
2
Points
ripjones 05/26/08 - 06:46 am
0
0
Juice him. My tax dollars

Juice him. My tax dollars should not be wasted on this worthless protoplasm. Yes, the JUVIE judge screwed up, but we will cover his stupidity.

amazed1
0
Points
amazed1 05/26/08 - 07:48 am
0
0
I think that the judges

I think that the judges should be held accountable for repeat offenders.

Farful
7
Points
Farful 05/26/08 - 08:04 am
0
0
The AC writers all use the

The AC writers all use the term "Mr." when referring to a male. I haven't read any other newspaper that does this. It seems very juvenile to me and I suppose that the editors make them do it.

Equaltreatmentforall
49
Points
Equaltreatmentforall 05/26/08 - 09:01 am
0
0
A deprived child, imagine

A deprived child, imagine that. How could his grandparents do anything with him? what a unfair job they had been given. I don't know what the answer is for people like him. I wonder how many 12 year olds who beat an infant to death go on to live productive lives?

mahem1920
0
Points
mahem1920 05/26/08 - 09:02 am
0
0
Again, "Mr" my [filtered word]!

Again, "Mr" my [filtered word]!

med1958
0
Points
med1958 05/26/08 - 09:33 am
0
0
He doesn't deserve to be

He doesn't deserve to be called Mr !!!
Give the child that was MURDERED some RESPECT and
STOP treating this less of man like "POOR THING DIDN'T
HAVE A CHANCE BECAUSE OF HIS UP BRINGING"
I was raised by my Grandmother, we were VERY POOR, and I didn't know my so called sperm donor father...yet I didn't turn out like this piece of trash. It is ALL HIS FAULT. These judges and the MEDIA NEED TO STOP making excuses for him.
We all choose our paths in life. Doesn't MATTER who or how you were raised.May God Bless his Grandparents....but may God also see that HE be punished for HIS WRONG DOINGS.

Jen2803
1
Points
Jen2803 05/26/08 - 09:34 am
0
0
Most of the time these youths

Most of the time these youths start out seeing what it's like hurting or killing animals then they move on to small children then older people and so on so he's been at this for a while and no one has done anything about it. His parents should have been held responsible when he was younger and then maybe they would have made a decent man out of him. The problems today is people have children to make money off them: food stamps, welfare, bigger tax returns. They don't really want or love the kids they are just born for financial gain so they don't care where they are or what they do as long as they don't get in their way.

babydoll1
11
Points
babydoll1 05/26/08 - 09:42 am
0
0
Well its like this sometimes

Well its like this sometimes the grand parents can do more with the children than the parents can. Remeber alot of the time grandparents are the ones that actually raise the children generation after generation. Not only that when a parent has done all that he or she can do in raising the child you can not hold the parents accountable for their children actions. Do you want to be held accountable for yours? Do you think that your parents shoul have been hel accountable for your actions? People you need to think about what you say before you say it because when the shoe is on the other foot how are you going to feel then. As for those parents that are not parenting their children at all then yes they should be held accountable. But you got to alway remember when children are out of your eye sight there is no telling what they might do and now days it appears that children are no longer kids and they do not care about life and anything that has to do with life. And I think that has to do a lot with the government. Parents are not allowed to discipline their kids without leaving a bruise child abuse there goes DFCS and the law involved. I recieved plenty of bruises and turned out fine

babydoll1
11
Points
babydoll1 05/26/08 - 09:47 am
0
0
Not only that but the

Not only that but the commnuites are no longer involved in the raising of the kids. Now people do not want any one else saying anything to their children. And yes the judges that allow these kids to go in and out of RYDC and other places need to be held accountable. Because after you see a child over and over again for the same crime or something related they are now becoming or have become repeat offenders and they are the product of what is yet to come. Get these kids the needed help or off the streets at a young age and maybe that will help deter some of the crime rate. Now this child should have been punsihed a long time ago and he would not have had a chance to do all of this.

karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 05/26/08 - 10:03 am
0
0
babydol do you have children?

babydol do you have children? It is not the Guv'ments fault it is not the communites fault...it's the PARENTS fault!!! Its attiudes like yours that are the problem. Take care of your own children...raise them with a sense of responsibility and not one of entitlement ...teach them right from wrong from the beginning of their lives.

WAG
287
Points
WAG 05/26/08 - 10:10 am
0
0
The judges that let him go

The judges that let him go need to go to prison...They are a joke and are just collecting a pay check.....get rid of them....
They are as guilty as the idiot that did the killing...He should have been put away forever when he was 12...

CoastalDawg
125
Points
CoastalDawg 05/26/08 - 10:40 am
0
0
I agrew with the poster who

I agrew with the poster who said that the judges who have over and over let this man out to prey on the public should now be accomplices before the fact to murder. It was obvious from the first bit of trouble that he has a "problem", and declaring him a "deprived child" is no excuse. Many children are "deprived" in some ways growing up but don't beat up and murder people because of it. It is way past time to hold JUDGES accountable when this type of criminal has been allowed to return to the streets time after time and something like this happens. Juvenile court judges do walk a tightrope in attempting to dispense some kind of justice while not ruining the life of a young person who might want to redeem himself/herself, but when that individual is involved in such serious crimes, it's time for more than a few days or months in detention. A judge, although not God, is supposed to possess wisdom and understanding in balancing the acts of a criminal against the threat to society - these obviously failed so it's time for them to get a new job. Too bad they can't be held accountable for allowing this man to be on the streets to commit this heinous murder, IF indeed he is guilty.

butterflygina
159
Points
butterflygina 05/26/08 - 11:36 am
0
0
He lived a life where you

He lived a life where you could see he was going to end up not being ....

BakersfieldCityLimits
1
Points
BakersfieldCityLimits 05/26/08 - 11:39 am
0
0
Come November, poor

Come November, poor misunderstood children like this will get some real help, and not be forced into a life of crime.

atwitsend
5
Points
atwitsend 05/26/08 - 11:51 am
0
0
Hey, D1216- You're an

Hey, D1216-

You're an idiot.

End of story.

motivatedinhepzibah
0
Points
motivatedinhepzibah 05/26/08 - 11:54 am
0
0
Why when its black we always

Why when its black we always here its the parents fault. Why didn't they raise their child right. Or its welfare fault giving people a since of entilement, or some other garbage. I just wondering how some people make all these assumptions just because of somebody sking color. When its white i don't hear the same attitudes expressed.

christian134
1
Points
christian134 05/26/08 - 12:06 pm
0
0
Parents should raise the

Parents should raise the babies not grandparents babydoll...My goodness a little responsibility goes with having sex.. Grandparents are not supposed to raise generations of children just so the"parents" can play around and keep having sex and babies without consequences...If a person is old enough to have sex and babies they need to be held accountable....

Safe at Home
0
Points
Safe at Home 05/26/08 - 12:32 pm
0
0
Some of you want to blame the

Some of you want to blame the Parents or Grandparents or the Judges or the system. You should blame the one who did all of this. That is why he kept getting into more and more trouble...he never took responsibility for his own actions. If this Joe had any sence he would blow his brains out and save us all a lot of trouble.

EdithPiaf
2
Points
EdithPiaf 05/26/08 - 12:58 pm
0
0
I remember when he killed

I remember when he killed that little girl. If this is the same story, it was his cousin. The little girl's mother left the child with the boy while she went to the store and he beat her to near-death. I remember this because my baby was about 6 months old at the time and I was horrified that someone could do something like this to a baby, and I was also wondering why on Earth would anyone leave their baby girl with a 12 year old boy for any period of time.

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 05/26/08 - 06:10 pm
0
0
A 12 year old child should

A 12 year old child should NEVER be left unsupervised with a baby. A baby's care is an adult responsibility. No one less than 16 should be taking care of a baby for over an hour. I took care of my 5 siblings at 14, when the youngest was an infant, for short periods of time, but it was a different world then. In hindsight, I realize we had some very close calls. I never allowed anyone under 16 to babysit my children, and they had to have taken the babysitting safety course. I preferred 18 and up. Even that is not fool-proof. An adult babysat our children for an two night trip and brought her dog and said her husband might stay over one of the nights. When her husband came over to visit after we returned, we asked the children if they remembered him and they said, "that's not her husband!" (Out of the mouth of babes) The husband said, "well, that confirms what I thought." They divorced soon after. That was an unbelievable breach of trust between the parents and the babysitter. We knew and trusted the husband and thought we could trust his wife, we don't know who the "lover" was, to this day. It horrifies me that untrustworthy people were babysitting my children.

cparker
83
Points
cparker 05/26/08 - 06:33 pm
0
0
This is a nineteen year old

This is a nineteen year old murderer. This is his own fault and he deserves the most severe punishment possible. This has nothing to do with race or who raised him, this is about making the obvious wrong choice. To commit murder, especially a second time, warrnats the death penalty. I would have felt different if he was twelve, but he is not. There is no defense for him, besides why is he still running from the law? Opening his juvenile files was an important decision and now we all know the truth...He is a murderer and should face the death penalty.

RhondaAllDay365
10
Points
RhondaAllDay365 05/26/08 - 06:33 pm
0
0
I'am getting tired of the

I'am getting tired of the system letting these juveniles get off scott free with these crimes and then when they kill someone it's like oh my God how did this happen! I remember about three years ago some young boys broke into my mother's house and they stole a lot of her valubles and all three of the boys were supposed to pay her restution(what a joke) but those same three boys are not juveniles anymore and guess where they are at now in prison! So they keep going out there until they eventually hang themselves.

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