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‘I just couldn’t imagine what pain he was going through’: Mom and boyfriend plea to murdering infant

Brandon Michael Marsh (left) and Ashley Jaira McCamey (right)

Brandon Michael Marsh (left) and Ashley Jaira McCamey (right)

A 22-year-old mother in Tennessee and her 30-year-old then-boyfriend will both spend more than a decade behind bars for killing her infant son two years ago.

Third Judicial District Court Judge John F. Dugger, Jr. on Monday ordered Ashley Jaira McCamey and Brandon Michael Marsh to serve sentences of 15 years each for the 2021 slaying of young Kade Jackson Paris, authorities confirmed to Law&Crime.

McCamey and Marsh both entered Alford pleas to one count each of second-degree murder in Kade’s death. They will both be required to complete 100% of the 15-year sentences before they can be released.

The duo had initially been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated child neglect. However, prosecutors allowed each of the defendants to plead to a reduced murder charge and dismissed the abuse and neglect charges in exchange for their entering the Alford pleas.

An Alford plea is functionally equivalent to a guilty plea in that it results in a conviction, but it allows a defendant to maintain their claim of innocence while conceding that the state has sufficient evidence to convict them at trial.

The sentencing brings an end to the case nearly two years after Kade was found dead inside McCamey’s home.

According to a press release from the Greene County Sheriff’s Office at the time of the arrest, deputies on April 22, 2021, responded to a 911 call regarding an unresponsive infant at an apartment complex located in the 100 block of Twin Barns Road, which is about 65 miles east of Knoxville. Upon arriving at the scene, first responders say they located the infant — later identified as Kade — who was pronounced dead on the scene.

Investigators said the boy died while he was in the care of both McCamey and Marsh.

Following an investigation, a grand jury in Greene County returned indictments for both McCamey and Marsh on the aforementioned charges. An additional charge of aggravated child endangerment was returned against McCamey which was later dropped as part of the plea agreement.

The child’s father, Jack Paris, told Bristol NBC affiliate WCYB-TV that he was at work when he received a call from his ex notifying him about his son’s death. Paris said that McCamey was screaming on the other end of the line.

“My ex told me my son was dead and kept on screaming he was dead,” Paris reportedly told the station back in 2021. “I just always wanted my son to grow up and have a better life than I did. I tried my best. He was just such a sweet loving boy. We always had fun car rides together, just listening to music. He was always so happy, always had a smile on his face, was never really a fussy child.”

Paris told Nashville Fox affiliate WZTV that what he heard happened to Kade based on the autopsy report was disturbing.

“From what I heard what happened in what the autopsy results showed, I basically broke down to my knees,” he told the station. “I just couldn’t imagine what pain he was going through.”

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.