Britney Mayes, a 24-year-old mother of two — with a third on the way — in Cincinnati, Ohio, was indicted Wednesday on murder charges in the death of her 4-year-old daughter, Averylee Delia Hobbs. The little girl was only a few weeks old when Mayes first fractured the child's skull and went to jail as a result, according to a WKRC TV News report.
But even though Mayes, whose name at the time was Britney Roll, served six months behind bars in 2011 — and her older girl had already been taken away from her due to suspicions of child abuse — she was awarded custody of Averylee in March of 2015 after completing a course in parenting skills, according to a WCPO TV News report.
$2 million bond for Britney Mayes for murder of her 4 year old daughter. pic.twitter.com/9By9cQ19axThe girl's grandparents, Tammy and Jonathan Risen, fought the mom for custody of Averylee, but Averylee ended up back with her mother — a decision that appears to have now cost the girl, described as "a little jokester" by her grandfather, her life.
— Andrew Setters (@AndrewSetters) August 11, 2016
What Britney Mayes is alleged to have done to her daughter is "beyond comprehension," Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Josh Berkowitz said at a hearing last week.
For more background in the investigation into the death of Averylee Hobbs, click on the video below from WCPO.More recent developments in the Britney Mayes murder case are covered on the following video news report by WLWT TV. Mayes was arrested and charged with murder on August 10, nearly two weeks after the little girl died of what a coroner ruled to be head injuries caused by blunt force trauma, which she suffered on July 29.
The little girl was found unresponsive in a bathtub on that date inside Mayes' home in the West Price Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati. She was rushed to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, but the 4-year-old passed away there on August 1.
"This could've been stopped," said grandmother Tammy Risen, to WCPO. "This could've been prevented if people would've listened."
The Risens, in court filings as they struggled to convince a court to grant them custody of their granddaughter, said that Britney Mayes, then Britney Roll, "does not provide for the infant...does not have a stable home or relationship. Barely visited the infant."
"It's such a shame that a little girl like her couldn't grow up to be a beautiful woman," grandpa Jonathan Risen told WCPO.
Tammy Risen also told the court in 2014 that after visits with her mom, Averylee would return covered in bruises to her arms and backside.
Judge Ruehlman also ordered Britney Mayes have no contact with her baby when that child is born. pic.twitter.com/Xdy57qMFdBBut Mayes argued that Averylee's father "does not have a job and has abandoned my daughter with no contact in over a month. He also does not have a high school education and is a convicted felon."
— Mark Hauss (@thehaussman) August 18, 2016
She also claimed that the little girl had allegedly once suffered an injury while in the grandparents' care.
Averylee Hobbs and Mayes' older, now 6-year-old daughter have different fathers. The 6-year-old now lives with her father's family members.
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When she appeared in court earlier this month, Britney Mayes was revealed to be pregnant with a third child by a third father. But at her court hearing on Thursday, a judge prohibited Mayes from having any contact with her newest child after the baby is born, an event which is expected to happen inside Ohio's Hamilton County Jail.
On Thursday, Britney Mayes entered a plea of not guilty in her little daughter's murder. Judge Berkowitz set bond for the 24-year-old mom at $2 million after a grand jury indicted her on charges of aggravated murder, murder, and child endangerment. If she is convicted, the mom could spend the rest of her life behind bars, with no possibility of parole.
[Photos By Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, Family Photo]