A Floyd County man and woman accused of murdering an infant are scheduled to face trial the week of Nov. 30.
Shamekia Shantell Byars, the infant’s mother, and Mike Reggie Haynes, her live-in boyfriend, both of 803 Darlington Way, were arrested and indicted in March 2009 on charges of murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault and cruelty to children.
They are accused of causing the death of an infant, Sha’niya L. Moses, on Nov. 5, 2005, after the child died from severe head and brain injuries allegedly caused by physical abuse.
The indictment also alleges the couple intentionally delayed necessary medical treatment after the child received the injuries that led to her death.
Attorneys for Byars filed a motion Thursday to dismiss the indictment because of the length of time it took to indict the two defendants on murder charges.
“The victim’s cause of death was determined by the medical examiner in April 2006,” the motion stated. “No further investigation has been conducted in this matter since 2006.”
Defense attorneys allege the delay caused an “unfair tactical disadvantage” for the prosecution as the “passage of time has blurred the memories of witnesses who would have been material to the defendants’ defense,” the motion stated.
The three-year delay between the alleged act and the indictment, amid an ongoing investigation, violated Byars’ constitutional right to a speedy trial, the motion stated.
District Attorney Leigh Patterson declined to make a comment specific to the case, but she provided a copy of Georgia Code 17-3-1, which states there is no statute of limitations on murder.
Pre-trial motion hearings in the case are set for Nov. 9 at 1:30 p.m.
Rome News Tribune