Reporter: Heather Rosenbaum | Videographer: Jonathan Merryman
Danville, VA - A Danville man is facing murder charges in connection to a 3-year-old's death. A grand jury has indicted 23 year-old Shonta Montrez Barnhill-Sherrod on first degree murder charges.
Danville police have identified the child as Teliajah Sashay Brown. Medical officials in Roanoke say the cause of death is homicide by blunt force trauma.
Emergency crews responded to an apartment on Tuesday at 11 a.m. on the 100 block of Levelton Street to reports of a 3-year-old girl in respiratory distress. They were unable to resuscitate her and Brown was later pronounced dead at Danville Regional Medical Center.
Police say Barnhill-Sherrod was taking care of Brown at the time of the incident and is the boyfriend of Brown's mother. He was served with the indictment today and is currently being held in the Danville City Jail under no bond.
Neighbors are shocked this could happen so close to home."It was like it was shocking. It was shocking to me. To know that it happened just right across the street from where I reside that's a bit much," said a neighbor.
"It's just a tragedy you know. All of a sudden things like this occurs and you don't know what to expect," says neighbor Larry Kernodle.
One neighborhood girl says she wasn't so surprised, explaining she played with Teliajah and her older sister, and often saw bruises on both girls.
"I was worried, I wouldn't technically call it scared, but I was worried for her because I knew she has getting hit on but they wouldn't tell me why," said a neighbor.
Neighbors say Barnhill-Sherrod moved in just a few months ago and kept to himself.
"He be sitting on the front porch. Just sitting on the steps, I seen him every now and then with his little girls or whatever. He seemed like he was alright, he was cool," said Kernodle.
"They walk around and they look like they just the same and you just never know," says a neighbor.
All agree, this is something they will not soon forget.
"Whatever happened, it's a tragedy. In all our hearts, everyone that lives in the neighborhood," said neighbor Diane Hairston.
"It touches the heart because I've got daughters and it's kind of messed up situation. Very sad," said Kernodle.
"To know that you have somebody that could just be that cold-hearted and kill a baby just like that," said a neighbor.