Man faces death penalty in South Ga. toddler murder case

Indictment in the case handed down by Dougherty County grand jury
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 2:11 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The death penalty will be sought for a man charged in what the Albany Police Department called a “heinous crime of child abuse” that eventually led to the death of a three-year-old girl.

Gregory Parker will face the possibility of the death penalty in connection to the May 2019 death of Janiyah Brooks.

Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards said this is an “appropriate case” to seek the death penalty against Parker.

Crystal Brooks was charged in connection to the death of Janiyah Brooks, her daughter.
Crystal Brooks was charged in connection to the death of Janiyah Brooks, her daughter.(Dougherty County Jail)
Janiyah Brooks
Janiyah Brooks(Family)

“I believe it’s an issue the jury should make a decision about,” Edwards said of the decision to seek the death penalty. “We believe there’s evidence beyond reasonable doubt that he will be convicted.”

Parker was indicted by a Dougherty County grand jury on May 5. Crystal Brooks, Janiyah’s mother, was also indicted.

Parker was indicted on felony murder, rape, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated child molestation, two counts of aggravated battery, battery, cruelty to children, making a false statement and aggravating circumstances charges.

The aggravating circumstances charge stems from Janiyah’s “skull, brain, and lungs (being rendered) useless during a physical and sexual assault,” according to the indictment. The indictment also states Parker was “outrageously and wantonly vile, horrible, inhumane” and did “physically abuse a three-year-old child,” including sexual abuse.

Crystal Brooks was indicted on cruelty to children, aggravated battery, battery and making a false statement.

The indictment states that Janiyah was severely beaten with different objects and that several parts of her body, including her shoulders and hands, were disfigured.

May 18 will mark two years since Janiyah died from her injuries after she was taken off a ventilator at an Atlanta hospital.

Below is a copy of the indictment. WALB has chosen to redact some of the more extreme graphic details of the indictment. However, the indictment does contain other graphic details. Reader discretion is advised.

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