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August 11, 2022

Columbia-On Thursday, August 4, 2022, a Richland County jury found Shakoya Darby guilty of Homicide by Child Abuse for her role in the death of her son, Princeton Adams.

Jurors heard testimony that on Christmas day, 2018, EMS was called to the Defendant’s home where they found a neighbor performing CPR on an unresponsive 18-month-old child.  EMS workers attempted to resuscitate the child and quickly transported him to the hospital where they were able to bring Princeton’s faint heartbeat back just as they were arriving.  The child had suffered a broken leg, a broken wrist, and extensive brain damage requiring him to be on a ventilator.  Brain function was never regained and the child lingered in this state until his tragic death nearly three years later.

The Defendant provided law enforcement with multiple versions of the events leading up to the child’s injuries  to include an admission that while the child was initially struck by her boyfriend, she failed to call for medical treatment for over four hours.  Additionally, the Defendant admitted to choking Princeton by placing her hands on his neck for two minutes.

An autopsy concluded that Princeton died as a result of this incident and that he had suffered extensive brain damage due to blood and oxygen deprivation to his brain at the time of the incident.  Other medical experts testified that a reasonable caregiver would have known to seek medical attention immediately after he sustained his initial injury, and that his greatest chance of recovery would have been secured by seeking medical attention immediately.

The jury deliberated for approximately eight hours before finding Darby guilty.  The Honorable Robert E. Hood sentenced the Defendant to forty (40) years in prison on August 10, 2022.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant Solicitors Anna Browder and Melanie Darko and was investigated by Inv. Ryan Galinski, formerly of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and currently Captain with the Chapin Police Department.  Inv. Galinski stated, “This was the worst case of child abuse and neglect that I had ever seen, and I am grateful that we were able to get justice for Princeton.”

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