A 21-year-old mother from Pearl, Mississippi has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of her infant daughter last year after accepting a plea deal, Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Bubba Bramlett announced.
The state of mind of Makaylia Shaylynn Jolley on May 12, 2022 remains unknown, but police received numerous calls that a woman had “repeatedly and forcibly thrown a baby on the roadway at 775 N. Bierdeman Rd.”, according to a Pearl Police Department (PPD) statement.
Upon arriving to the scene, police found another woman holding onto the infant, the statement continues. Khalysie Lashay Jolley was severely injured while her mother fled into the woods. Officers apprehended her short time later.
Bramlett’s release states that witnesses described a woman “grabbing a baby by the ankles and slamming the child onto the concrete multiple times” before laying the infant onto the road and fleeing.
Meanwhile, firefighters and paramedics immediately began first aid on the infant. The statement at the time reported that the infant was in critical condition at the hospital.
“During her interview, Jolley stated that she hurt her baby and she didn’t know why she did it, but it was an accident,” Bramlett said.
A neighbor later told WAPT: “I don't understand. Something had to go wrong. Postpartum, or something. Because she (Makaylia) really is a very good mother.”
WAPT also reported that Makaylia was also familiar to narcotics officer, and that her older son was in his grandmother’s care.
On May 14, 2022 at 4:33 p.m., the 9-week-old infant succumbed to her injuries, Bramlett’s press release says.
“Khalysie sustained extensive skull fractures, brain swelling, abrasions, hemorrhages to her eyes, a right elbow fracture, left thumb fracture, and brain bleeding. Khalysie’s cause of death was homicide as a result of blunt force injuries to the head.,” Bramlett explained.
On Nov. 17, 2022, the indictment came down for the young mother, Bramlett’s release says. The initial charges of attempted murder was upgraded to capital murder, with the felony child abuse charge remaining in place.
A year after Khalysie’s tragic death, Makaylia stood in court for a settlement conference, where Bramlett announced the prosecution would seek the death penalty at trial, the release says.
A mental health evaluation was conducted on Makaylia and submitted to the court on Sept. 13, 2023, noting that she was competent to stand trial, the release says. The Rankin County District Attorney’s Office sent a plea offer to Makaylia on Oct. 31, 2023, which would allow her to plead guilty to capital murder and exchange the possible death penalty for life in prison. Makaylia filed a motion to accept the plea deal on the deadline, Nov. 3, 2023.
Makaylia appeared before Judge Steve Ratcliff on Nov. 6, 2023 to enter the guilty plea, the release says. Makaylia is described as stoic while the mental health evaluation was presented to the judge, and while she pleaded guilty to the judge.
“This is an unexplainable and heinous crime against an innocent child. My office thanks the witnesses, the EMTs, the medical providers at Blair E. Batson and the Mississippi Children’s Safe Center, the Pearl Police Department and the Pearl Fire Department for their work on this case,” Bramlett said.
“The very woman who was supposed to love and support Khlaysie is the one who chose drugs over her children and caused Khlaysie’s death,” she continued. “Makaylia Jolley will die in prison where she belongs for committing these crimes against her daughter.”