Man Pleaded Guilty in Beating His 22-Month Old Grandniece to Death

A St Mary man pleaded guilty to manslaughter after he was charged in relation to beating his 22-month-old grandniece, Eshauna Gardner, to death on Wednesday, October 30, 2013.

{xtypo_dropcap}C{/xtypo_dropcap}live Barrett - who was initially charged for murder - pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter when he appeared before the St Mary Circuit on Monday, July 4.

Barrett is to be sentenced by High Court Judge Justice Marcia Dunbar-Green on Friday, July 15.

Reports are that residents heard the child screaming at Barrett’s home in Deans Pen and summoned the police at about 6:00 pm Wednesday, October 30, 2013.

When the police arrived, Barrett reportedly told them the child fell in a fire and got burnt. However, when the child was taken to the hospital, the doctors’ report proved otherwise.

Young Eshauna - who was said to have received injuries from being beaten - reportedly died around 11:00 pm.

The lawmen later reportedly went to arrest Barrett who by then had fled from his home.

Barrett was arrested at about 11:15 am on Friday, November 1, 2013, following negotiations for him to turn himself in.

The police were given a cell phone number for Barrett. They then called him and through negotiations arranged to pick him up.

At the time, Barrett had several injuries as a result of confrontations with citizens who tried to apprehend him a day following the gruesome beating of Eshauna. He was taken for medical treatment following his arrest.

A post-mortem report later confirmed that the toddler had died as a result of severe trauma to the head and skull.

The death of young Eshauna had shocked residents of the Dean Pen community in St Mary at the time, because Barrett had always treated the child well.

Reports by residents at the time were that Barrett went to the home of his niece - the dead child's mother - where he told them he would take little Eshauna for a walk. This was not unusual as Barrett often stayed with the child.

However, that was Eshauna's final walk with her granduncle.