Thomas Everett Holland, 38, is charged with first-degree child abuse and manslaughter for the murder of Jayson Holland.
Shirley Gaither says her great grandson Jayson was a joyous little boy, and that the family has yet to recover from his death.
Holland claimed he had found the boy unresponsive in his Palmer Park home on January 26. But there were immediate suspicions because prior to the incident, Holland was in a paternity war, waging a custody battle for the little boy. According to Mrs. Gaither, he chafed at the $600 a month child support payments.
“The moment we got the news we knew he had done something to the child,” she said.
Prince George’s County Police responded to the United Medical Center in Southeast D.C. with a death investigation. Holland had driven his son there for treatment, but the child was unresponsive, and pronounced dead a short time after.
Shockingly, an autopsy and toxicology test revealed a deadly cocktail of drugs in the boy’s system, including toxic levels of cocaine, acetaminophen and codeine. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, and Holland was arrested on Thursday night at his home in Hyattsville.
“Investigators now believe this could not have been an accident — there was no way a three-year-old child could ingest that amount of acetaminophen and cocaine,” said PGPD spokesperson, Julie Parker.
“He didn’t have any health problems — there was no reason that child couldn’t return on that Sunday morning just as healthy as he left, period,” stated Shirley Gaithers.
Holland remains in custody at the Department of Corrections.