SOUTHAMPTON COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – Investigators have arrested a caretaker and charged her with beating, starving and dehydrating a 23-year-old woman with cerebral palsy to death.
Keshia Freeman, 36, was taken into custody without incident Thursday after a grand jury indicted her on first-degree murder and abuse and neglect.
The Southampton County Sheriff’s Office says they spent five months investigating the March 2 death of Shaquille Hall.
Deputies say an autopsy shows Hall died from blunt force trauma to the abdomen, with contributing death factors of a drug overdose, starvation, dehydration and battery.
“She always had a smile on her face, always, and that’s how I remember her,” said Monique Hall-Bailey, Hall’s mother.
Bailey says Freeman had been her daughter’s caretaker for three years and they never had any significant problems.
“[Freeman] was good with her. When she would come over my baby would be happy-go-lucky,” said Bailey.
Bailey says she became friends with Freeman, who agreed to take Hall to her home for five weeks after a death in Bailey’s family.
Bailey says when she called Freeman on March 1 to have her daughter dropped off, Freeman told her they went to Maryland. The next day, March 2, Bailey says Freeman came to her home to let her know Hall died.
Investigators say Freeman is to blame for the death, which the medical examiner ruled a homicide.
“I’m going to make sure they throw the book at you,” said Bailey. “My baby did not deserve to die. She did not deserve to be mistreated.”
Investigators say Hall died inside Freeman’s home in Drewryville, between Emporia and Franklin. Freeman worked for two different nursing facilities, according to deputies, who say she is longer employed by either of them.
Bailey says she now keeps her daughter’s death certificate with her at all times.
“I just read it because I am in disbelief that [Freeman] did all of this when you easily could have brought her home when I called for her.”
As Bailey waits for closure, she hopes her daughter’s death shows the world the potential dangers involved with putting trust in others with loved ones.
“I don’t think I’ll be completely be better until she gets sentenced.”
Freeman will face a judge for a preliminary hearing on charges of first-degree murder and abuse and neglect of an incapacitated person on Nov. 3. She is being held at the Sussex County Jail with no bond.