Couple Charged With Murder After They Repeatedly Beat and Killed Infant

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 4, 2014   |   7:35PM   |   Atlanta, GA

A couple in Georgia face murder charges after repeatedly beating an infant girl to the point of killing her.

Eleven days after Journey Ann Cowart celebrated her first birthday, she was dead. The Bartow County sheriff said Monday the baby was beaten to death, allegedly at the hands of her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. And it wasn’t the first time she had been abused, Sheriff Clark Millsap said.

jordanannBrandy Ann Boyd, 25, and her boyfriend Austin Levi Payne, 24, were charged with cruelty to children but this has been upgraded to murder. An autopsy of baby Journey Ann Cowart’s body showed she “had previously suffered broken ribs and a broken leg.” She died after she was rushed to the hospital not breathing in Bartow County, Georgia on January 21.

The Daily Mail newspaper has more on this terrible infanticide:

‘The child had healed ribs that had previously been broken. And she also had a femur that had cracked and had already healed.’

Boyd and Payne were initially arrested and charged with first-degree cruelty to children and aggravated assault, and have been held in the Bartow County jail without bond since.

The sheriff said that neither his office nor the Division of Family and Children’s Services had previously investigated abuse allegations involving Boyd or Payne.

But last year, authorities came into contact with the family when Journey’s father – Blake Cowart, 28 – was reported missing after he stopped taking seizure medication that was needed for a brain injury.

Boyd, Cowart’s live-in girlfriend, told authorities that he suffered short-term memory loss, confusion and seizures, and she said she feared he had been taking drugs.