Lee indicted in child’s death

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By Patrick Yost editor

A Morgan County Grand Jury Tuesday indicted Donald Justin Lee, 21, for the March killing of 9–month–old Brantley Garrett Farmer. The grand jury returned indictments on one count of murder, three counts felony murder, one count cruelty to children in the first degree, one count aggravated assault and one count aggravated battery. A warrant executed during Lee’s arrest on March 22 alleges that “… 9–month–old Garrett Brantley Farmer was in the care and custody of the accused… when the child received a severe head injury at the hands of the accused.” According to the indictments, Farmer died of a “traumatic brain injury.” Lee was caring for Farmer, the son of his girlfriend, at the Aqua Road residence he and the mother shared when he requested that a neighbor call 911 after Farmer stopped breathing.

According to earlier reports, Lee told authorities that Farmer had fallen off a couch and that he had picked him up and rushed to a neighbor’s house because the couple’s residence had no working phone. Farmer was taken by EMS workers to Morgan Memorial where doctors were able to get a pulse and he was flown by helicopter to Atlanta’s Scottish Rite hospital. The following afternoon the family elected to have the child removed from life support and the infant died immediately. Capt. Chris Bish, Criminal Investigations Division, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, said at the time an autopsy on the child’s death had concluded and “preliminary reports support severe trauma to the head.” Lee remains incarcerated.

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