Headlines News

Fatal beatings

Infant’s mother, her stepfather-boyfriend charged with murder


News Staff Writer

A 24-year-old Atmore woman and her 48-year-old stepfather, who is also described by authorities as her boyfriend, remained behind bars without bond at midweek, each charged in the death of the woman’s infant child, who apparently died in April as a result of a series of vicious beatings administered by the pair.
Escambia County Sheriff Heath Jackson said sheriff’s detectives began on April 9 a joint investigation with Alabama Department of Human Resources personnel into the “suspicious death” of a 2-month-old child, who had “numerous bruises to the body and had suffered head trauma.”
The child’s mother, Shelby Shyanne Comalander, and Larry William Jackson were arrested, and both remained in the Escambia County Detention Center early Tuesday, charged with one count each of murder and aggravated child abuse. According to an employee of the county jail’s booking and release division, District Court Judge Eric Coale denied bond for both suspects during hearings held Monday, May 15.
According to separate criminal complaints filed against Comalander (who also has a young daughter) and Jackson, the baby’s head trauma developed from the two adults “striking (the child) in the head and face area, which caused a skull fracture and brain bleed.” The beatings were apparently administered by hand, as no other object was mentioned in the complaints.
Each accusation document further states that the beatings “began two to three weeks prior to (the child’s) death” and “at no time was there any effort to get medical help for the child.”
The documents also assert the infant, who was born January 19, “was not old enough or strong enough to control his head movements as he was being struck, which in turn is what caused the injuries and death.”
Comalander was booked into the county jail May 10. The sheriff said investigators determined that Jackson, who was taken into custody May 12, is “stepfather to Shelby Comalander and boyfriend of Shelby Comalander.” Jackson was married to Comalander’s mother, Crystal Darlene Jackson, who died March 1.
Both charges against the couple are Class A felonies (aggravated child abuse, usually a Class B felony, is elevated when the victim is under the age of 6). Under Alabama law, a conviction on either crime will result in a minimum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum of 99 years (life with the possibility of parole).
Larry William Jackson is also charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance. Reports show he had an unspecified quantity of methamphetamine on his person when lawmen searched him prior to cuffing him and taking him to jail.
The infant’s death reportedly occurred at the Riley Road home shared by the accused killers.