Man charged with shooting child now accused of killing 1-year-old baby

Jaidah Morris in a family photo | credit: WWBT
Jaidah Morris in a family photo | credit: WWBT(WHSV)
Published: Jul. 11, 2019 at 1:29 PM EDT
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A Virginia man charged with shooting a 5-year-old in the head is now accused of killing a toddler.

News outlets report 20-year-old Derick Walton Jr. was charged Tuesday with offenses including felony homicide in the 2017 shooting that killed Jaidah Morris and wounded her father. Court records say Jaidah and her father were hit by shots fired into a Henrico County bedroom.

Henrico police linked Walton to the 2017 shooting after he was arrested last month in the April attack that wounded 5-year-old Ke'miyah Edwards and an adult. He's charged with offenses including shooting into an occupied dwelling.

Nineteen-year-old Byron Archer III also was charged Tuesday with similar offenses in Jaidah's death. Both men may appear in court this month. It's unclear if they have lawyers.

The heartbroken family of Jaidah Morris says they feel closure after the arrests for her murder nearly two years ago.

“I never thought I would have to go through something like this and bury my 1-year-old grand baby,” Monica Morris said.

It was a family reunion of sorts as Morris visited her granddaughter Jaidah Morris’ grave. Each visit is no easier than the first.

“It’s always going to be hard because I’m never going to get her back,” Morris said.

With this visit, Monica came with news to share.

“Thank God justice came for Jaidah, and they got them off the streets,” Morris said.

Jaidah was shot and killed while asleep inside her parents’ home on Fayette Avenue.

“She was just starting to live life,” Morris said.

Jaidah was born prematurely, and family believe she was born a fighter.

“She was 1 pound and 15 ounces. Everyday she was with me. I watched her grow and the changes in her,” Morris said.

This week, Henrico Police announced charges against Derrick Walton, Jr. in her death.

“I’m so glad they got them off the street. If not, it could have happened to someone else,” Morris said.

It did.

Walton is also charged with shooting 5-year-old Ke’Miyah Edwards in the head earlier this year.

Miraculously, the 5-year-old is up dancing and laughing and is still here to tell her story.

“Why would you do that to kids? They are just babies,” Morris said.

Monica wishes the outcome could have been different. The pain, she says, never goes away.

“I think about her everyday. I picture her doing things in the house and being with me. All the laughter we had,” Morris said.

Although her pain has been planted deep within, her tears have watered the grief, blooming out a message.

“Put the guns down, please. Please, just put the guns down,” Morris said.

Byron Archer was also charged in the case. Derick Walton faces several charges in both cases, ranging from aggravated malicious wounding to second-degree murder.

Both suspects are due back in court later this month.

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