Dad JAMEL HUBBARD has pleaded guilty to felony murder in the death of his 2-year-old son. And once again, the details are pretty sketchy as to how this father was in a position to do this crime. It appears that he was not living with or married to the boy's mother, as he had been "keeping the boy for 10 days" at the time of his boy's fatal injuries. Who decided that a father with a history of mental illness and no experience in child care would take care of this boy for this long? The mother? Some other party? Who knows. Once again, the media does not fully report enough details. In fact, there is no mention of this boy's mother AT ALL. Why?
Birmingham man pleads guilty in death of 2-year-old son
Published: Wednesday, March 02, 2011, 8:45 AM
By Eric Velasco -- The Birmingham News
A Birmingham man has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in the 2008 death of his 2-year-old son, avoiding a capital murder trial for which jury selection was under way.
Members of the jury pool learned Tuesday morning that Jamel Hubbard, 25, had pleaded guilty Monday evening to felony murder in the death of Kemarrious Moore.
Jefferson County Circuit Judge Stephen Wallace sentenced Hubbard to 20 years as part of the plea deal.
Hubbard was to be tried on a capital charge that he intentionally murdered a child under the age of 14.
Under the felony murder charge, Hubbard admitted that Kemarrious' death resulted when the father was committing the felony of aggravated child abuse.
Kemarrious had bruises all over his back, injuries to his kidney and spleen and a bruise on his genitalia consistent with having been pinched, doctors at Children's Hospital told police when the child was taken there on Aug. 17, 2008.
His left arm also had a fresh fracture, his chin was cut to the bone and blood was leaking in his brain, according to testimony from a prior hearing.
Hubbard told police the newer injuries were the result of a fall when the two rode down a hill on a bicycle that crashed when the brakes failed.
"We believe that the closed-head injury came from that," said Cynthia Umstead, who represented Hubbard with David Simpson.
But when Kemarrious lost consciousness later that day, Hubbard told his aunt he believed he had hit the child too hard, a Birmingham police detective testified at Hubbard's preliminary hearing.
Hubbard had been keeping Kemarrious for 10 days, and some of the child's injuries predated that period, Umstead said. Hubbard, who had a history of mental illness and never had cared for a child alone before, was unprepared for the task, she said.
"He may not have understood it was not a good idea to ride a bike with a child on the handlebars and no helmet," Umstead said. "We felt there was no intent to harm his child, but it was a very bad decision."