Ridgeland woman convicted on two counts of felony child abuse

MADISON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – A 36-year-old Ridgeland woman was convicted on two counts of felonious abuse of a child.

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Bubba Bramlett said Akilah Watson was found guilty after a two-day jury trial. Her sentencing has been set for May 13, 2024. Bramlett said Watson faces a possible sentence of between five years to life for each charge.

On July 6, 2023, Child Protective Services (CPS) received an anonymous report of a mother holding her child at gun point. According to Bramlett, CPS had two previous reports of abuse involving Watson and her children.

CPS and Ridgeland police responded to Watson’s apartment for a welfare check. When officers arrived, they found a 16-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy at the residence with Watson. After speaking with the teenagers, officials determined the two should be taken into State custody.

Akilah Denise Watson (Courtesy: Madison County District Attorney’s Office)

The teenagers told authorities about multiple instances of felonious child abuse dating back several years. The children were placed in temporary foster homes and eventually placed with their godmother.

Bramlett said both teenagers testified at trial, and each detailed instances when they were beaten with objects, including an extension cord, walking stick, bat, and belt. The children were also able to show the jury multiple injuries they had received as a result of those beatings. Both children also testified of the mother pistol whipping the female child.

“The bravery of these children to testify against the mother they love, compounded by the brutality of the abuse suffered at her hands, did not go unnoticed by the jury during this trial. We are grateful to them both and for the teamwork of, and between, Child Protective Services and the Ridgeland Police Department ensure justice,” said Bramlett.