TURTLE CREEK (KDKA) – A 22-year-old mother hid her face as she entered district court, charged with felony child endangerment.
Jamaya Grant is charged with leaving her three children – a 4-month-old and two boys ages 1 and 2 – alone in a filthy apartment with no food, a lighter and a rock of suspected crack cocaine.
“There were no diapers, no food,” said Braddock Mayor John Fetterman. “We gave the kids some water, they drank it like they’d been left in the desert.”
Inside, Grant agreed to waive the charges to court, but asked District Justice Scott Schricker to remove her bail – promising to stay clean and sober and take her meds for a bi-polar condition. Schricker agreed, but warned he’d put her back in jail if she relapsed.
“I don’t want you in a house with a beer in it,” he said. “Or anywhere there’s marijuana. I don’t want you around any controlled substance.”
The children are in the custody of Child Youth and Family Services, but their grandmother Helena Grant said she will be getting temporary custody, despite concerns expressed by Mayor Fetterman that the children be placed outside the family.
Braddock Police Chief Frank Debartolo often works undercover and did not want his face on camera, but is concerned for the children’s future.
“Hopefully this young girl can get her life together and take care of these children … it’s sad, it upsets me not only as a police officer, but as a father as well,” Debartolo said.
Jamaya Grant may get her children back someday if she can convince a judge she has her life together, but there are now many concerned observers who will want to see proof of that.