MOULTON — A 26-year-old Lawrence County woman could face a murder or capital murder charge following the death Tuesday of her injured and bruised 15-month-old son, authorities said.
Jordan Ellan Harmon, 1484 Lawrence County 183 in the Caddo community, was charged Monday with aggravated child abuse of a child under the age of 6 by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office. She is in Lawrence County Jail with no bail set.
The boy was pronounced dead at 11:52 a.m. Tuesday at the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, according to the district attorney’s office. The boy was initially taken to a local hospital Sunday. An autopsy has been ordered.
According to a complaint filed in Lawrence County District Court, Harmon refused to seek medical treatment for her 15-month-old son despite “serious injuries that required medical attention and treatment including, but not excluding injuries to his head, arm and groin area on at least three separate occasions.”
The complaint, filed by Lawrence County sheriff's investigator Tabitha Campbell, said Harmon resisted arrest when formally charged at the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office at 12:30 a.m. Monday.
Lawrence County Sheriff Max Sanders said "there were injuries and bruises to the child."
Lawrence County District Attorney Errek Jett said his department is working with the State Bureau of Investigation and Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office on the investigation.
“If the evidence supports that she recklessly or intentionally caused the death of the boy, then I would seek an indictment for murder or capital murder,” Jett said. “Even an accidental death of a child touches all of our hearts. But if this was intentional, it is beyond heart-breaking and demands justice. Until you know what the evidence is, you can’t determine the mental culpability of the person. Did they act intentionally, recklessly?”
He said aggravated assault of a child under the age of 6 is a Class A felony and a guilty conviction could mean 10 years to life in prison. Jett said the crime is on the same level as murder, rape and armed robbery. A capital murder conviction is a punishable by life in prison without parole or the death sentence.
Jett and Sanders said additional charges are possible.
Jett said Harmon has 30 days to request a preliminary hearing to show probable cause, and he expects it could be early June before the hearing would be held in District Judge Angela Terry’s courtroom. According to court records Wednesday morning, Harmon has not retained an attorney.
The Sheriff’s Office said it responded to a 911 medical emergency call about 10 a.m. Sunday and met with Harmon along Alabama 24 near the Morgan County line. An ambulance transported the child to a local hospital, and he was later transferred to Children’s Hospital.
The last case involving a child’s homicide in Lawrence County was the death of Ian Calhoun, 2, in August 2014. Evan Woodrow Berryman and Chelsea Nichole Fike are each charged in the boy’s death.
Berryman has been in the Lawrence County Jail since March 2016 and is charged with capital murder of a victim under 14. He is also charged with three counts of aggravated child abuse.
Fike, the boy’s mother, is charged with reckless murder, felony murder and two counts of aggravated child abuse.
Investigation and autopsy reports presented to the court indicated blunt force trauma to the head, torso, and lower and upper extremities killed Calhoun.