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Mississippi babysitter indicted for allegedly beating 2-year-old to death with infant sister in the home

Makallie Durham appears in a mugshot

Makallie E. Durham (Alcorn County Sheriff’s Office)

A 23-year-old babysitter in Mississippi already facing a capital murder charge for allegedly killing a 2-year-old boy in her care last year has been indicted on a swath of new felony criminal charges in connection with the death and abuse of the child and his younger sister.

In addition to one count of capital murder, a grand jury in Alcorn County has indicted Makallie E. Durham on four counts of child abuse over the September 2022 incident that left an 11-month-old girl severely injured and her 2-year-old brother dead, authorities confirmed to Law&Crime.

According to a copy of the indictment, the charges alleged that Durham abused the children over the course of several days, beginning on Sept. 9, 2022.

Two of the child abuse counts allege that Durham on both Sept. 9 and Sept. 12 “intentionally” caused bodily harm to the 2-year-old by striking him “in the face or head.” The remaining two abuse counts allege that Durham similarly struck the boy’s younger sister in the face or head on Sept. 11 and Sept. 12.

Durham had originally been charged with one count each of capital murder and felony child abuse.

As previously reported by Law&Crime, Alcorn County sheriff’s deputies and emergency medical personnel at approximately 9 p.m. on Sept. 13 responded to a call regarding an unresponsive child at a residence located in the 300 block of County Road in Corinth, which is about 100 miles east of Memphis, Tennessee.

Responding deputies say they discovered a 2-year-old boy who was determined to be unresponsive and appeared to have multiple bruises and marks on his body. He was immediately transported by ambulance to Magnolia Regional Hospital, the agency said.

Also in the house, according to the ACSO, was an 11-month-old baby girl who was found suffering from various unidentified injuries. The girl was also initially transported to Magnolia Regional. Later, both children were transferred to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Investigators were called to the scene of the crime and discovered that the boy and girl were being watched by Durham that evening. The babysitter was found to have an outstanding misdemeanor warrant, the ACSO said, and was taken into custody by deputies at that point.

On Sept. 15, 2022, two days after the arrest, law enforcement was notified that the toddler boy had succumbed to his injuries. The boy’s younger sister was listed as being in stable condition at the time of his death.

If convicted on the capital murder charge, Durham faces a maximum punishment of life in prison or the death penalty. She is being represented in the matter by Clay Nails and Will Bristow of the public defender’s office. The office did not immediately respond to a message from Law&Crime.

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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.