A Macomb County woman was sentenced to 27.5 to 50 years in prison on Wednesday for deliberately starving her 7-week-old son to death two years ago, according to prosecutors.
Shantavia Hayden of Warren brought her son A’Mir Griffin, who had been dead for several hours, to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit in October 2020.
Though the emergency room physician attempted to administer life-saving care, it was apparently too late; Dr. Jennifer Noble, of Children’s Hospital, testified that rigor mortis appeared to already be setting in.
Hayden, a mother of three other children, entered a not guilty plea in February 2021 and turned down a plea deal offered by the prosecution. She claimed that she fed her son, but all evidence points to the contrary. In September, she was found guilty of second-degree murder.
According to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation carried out found A’Mir to be severely malnourished, which eventually resulted in his death.
According to investigators, it w asn’t for lack of money or food that A’Mir was not being fed. This is because Hayden received 16 cans of food from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) during A’Mir’s seven weeks of life, as well as food and financial assistance from the state and $15,000 in jobless benefits for months.
During the trial, Medical Examiner Leigh Hlavaty testified that A’Mir had not been fed for at least seven days because A’mir’s stomach and colon were empty, based on the autopsy.
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Andrew Hubbs, Hayden’s attorney, said in her defense that she is devastated by the death of A’mir and asked for a lower sentence for her.
Hubbs asked for a sentence at the bottom of the sentencing guidelines saying, “She’s a mother. There are still things she can do with her life.”
However, the prosecutors trying the case argued strongly to have her sentence be at the top of the guidelines and succeeded. Hayden is sentenced to 27.5 to 50 years in prison after the jury returned a guilty verdict.
Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido said, “It’s despicable that a mother would starve her child to death. Justice was served today for little A’mir.”