Woman convicted of child abuse

Woman convicted of child abuse


RIDGELAND — A former resident here faces between five years and life in prison after she was recently convicted of child abuse, Madison County District Attorney Bubba Bramlett announced on March 26.

The woman, Akilah Watson, 36, was convicted after a two-day jury trial on two counts of felonious abuse of a child, according to Bramlett.

Circuit Judge Steve Ratcliff set sentencing for May 13. Bramlett said she faces a possible sentence of between five years to life for each charge.

Bramlett said the testimony of her two children who were abused gave testimony to their mother's abusive actions during the trial.

“The bravery of these children to testify against the mother they love, compounded by the brutality of the abuse suffered at her hands, did not go unnoticed by the jury during this trial,” Bramlett said. “We are grateful to them both and for the teamwork of, and between, Child Protective Services and the Ridgeland Police Department to ensure justice.”

Bramlett said both children, a 16-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy, testified at trial, and each detailed instances when they were beaten with various objects including an extension cord, a walking stick, a bat, and a belt. The children were also able to show the jury multiple injuries they had received as a result of those beatings. Both children also testified of the mother pistol-whipping the female child.

On July 6, 2023, Child Protective Services received an anonymous report of a mother holding her child at gunpoint. Bramlett said at this time CPS had two previous reports of abuse involving Watson and her children.

CPS and the Ridgeland Police Department responded to Watson’s apartment for a welfare check. Upon arrival, they found the girl and boy at the residence with Watson. After speaking with the minors, it was determined they should both be taken into state custody. 

The two children then disclosed to authorities multiple instances of felonious child abuse dating back several years, Bramlett said. 

The children were placed in temporary foster homes and eventually placed with their godmother, the authorities said.

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