August 14, 2020

Coroner says Mississippi teen was beaten to death; guardians charged with felony abuse

A preliminary autopsy shows a 16-year-old girl in east Mississippi appears to have died “due to a beating,” and her body showed signs of previous abuse, a coroner said.

Clarke County coroner Greg Fairchild said Shuntorie Ducksworth had blunt-force trauma and cuts to her head, including the face, and multiple bruises to her body and neck. Fairchild said multiple old injuries suggested a pattern of abuse. He said some of the old injuries had healed and some had not.

“This is the most severe case I’ve seen,” Fairchild told the Clarion Ledger.

Her guardians, Allen Donta McGay and Shakeithia Deneice McGay, were charged last week with felony child abuse in Ducksworth’s Oct. 31 death.

Fairchild said the state crime lab is investigating whether Ducksworth had a heart condition.

News outlets report the teenager was taken to a hospital Oct. 30 by a relative.

The chief deputy for the Clarke County Sheriff’s Department, Barry White, told WTOK-TV that Allen McGay and Shakeithia McGay were arrested and charged after preliminary autopsy results were released. White said additional charges could be filed.

The McGays have been in the Clarke County jail since Nov. 4. Bond for each has been set at $150,000.

An employee at the Clarke County Sheriff’s Department said Monday that records did not list an attorney’s name for either of the McGays.