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Mother, step-father charged in connection of toddler death

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - A mother and her husband are charged in connection with the death of her 23-month-old child.

Deonte Evans is charged with second degree murder of Jabria Phillips, accused of beating his step daugther.

The mother, Shanika Evans, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

IMG_20131129_095020St. Louis Fire Captain Garon Mosby said medics rushed to an apartment on Rowan Avenue and Ridge Avenue in West St. Louis. He said the department got a call for help around 3:30 a.m. and found Phillips had no heartbeat.  Medics performed CPR before turning the child over to doctors, who pronounced her dead.

Police are now calling the toddler’s death a homicide.

Brenda Baker, Phillips' grandmother who live in Detroit,  said she found out about her granddaughter’s death on after a friend called about news crews at the home.  Baker says Jabria was just like her father who died last year.

"The Energizer Bunny has nothing on her,” she said, breaking down into tears. “[Jabria] was very energetic. Every time I saw her smile, I saw my son smile. Now, I don't even have that."

St. Louis Police were tight-lipped about the investigation.  But, detectives from the department’s Homicide and Child Abuse divisions are now investigating.

A police Crime Lab technician took bags of evidence from the home.  Other officers escorted two civilians in and out of the home.

Some in the community had not heard of the death until four hours later.  Two children who lived next door headed out to school, but not before an officer lifted the crime-scene tape.




  • Jean Larson

    This is unbelievably tragic. :( I feel so bad for anyone who truly loved this child, and I feel bad for the EMS workers who tried and were not able to revive her, and the police officers and other emergency personnel who had to deal with this – what a trauma. This should never, ever happen. So sad. So infuriating. So sad.

  • DeAnne Toussaint

    I was Jabria’s babysitter and she was well loved and cared for. So for the love of God, please stop with these ignorant comments. For the sake of her family. She was a good baby and I am truly sadden by her death. Don’t say things that you wouldn’t want others to say to you because two grandmothers, a mother, a sister, a brother, and aunts and uncle just lost an innocent child today.

    • christy

      I am so sorry for your loss. Sounds like she was a precious little baby. I can not imagine what her family and friends must be going through. Such a shame. Please accept my condolences. Prayers for all.

  • Bri

    Wow, everytime you write something it’s more ignorant than the last comment….you are a pathetic waste of time and air. Shame on you for making light of this chid’s death you aren’t funny and it’s so sad that even during the loss of a child someone like you can get online and make idiotic post….but i guess it’s true any idiot with a brain (or half of one) is capable of opening their mouth and spewing out garbage…

  • Ht

    Like many of you I am deeply sadened at the lost of a
    precious life. No one can comprehend what might posses someone to do such a horindous act on an innocent child. My God bring piece to all those who loved her.

  • laura

    where exactly did it say “because the child could not be afforded”. I did not read anything about the cost of the child being the reason for her Death……Besides People have Children everyday that can not “Afford” them, but they seem to make it anyway! I am sorry for the Family’s Loss.

  • trouble

    She loves all her kids dearly. I have seen her grow from a baby girl to a grown woman and she would never harm her kids and for yall to be saying this you all are wrong. Let her be she has been thru alot

  • Julia Bowen

    Regardless of all opinions there are a few things that are fact at this point:
    1. The child was murdered by blunt force trauma (a beating)
    2. The father has purportedly admitted to striking the child.
    3. The child had SEVEN other old rib fractures.

    How can anyone say the child was “being taken care of”. The child was loved and it’s a shame that the child was not kept with the Grandmother who obviously loved the child and would have protected her. I hope they hang the father. Anyone who would strike a child with enough force to break ribs is a low life of the first degree and does not deserve any sympathy. Mom…waiting to hear more of her involvement. But she gave the child up once, why did she want her back?? Extra welfare payments maybe??? We will wait and see. Very sorry for the grandmother and those who did truly love this child.

  • tae

    BRI u doing too fuckin much…the step father and mother both deserve the death penalty. Even though the mother didn’t beat her she let it happen. She was pose to protect her. No reason ever to hit a child like that especially a baby they gone always do things and get into things. Thats what u have to understand when u bring a kid until this world they don’t no right from wrong an for him just to beat her he deserve to die

  • Traci

    The coroners report shows this child was obviously abused! The parents are responsible,I don’t care what that girl has been through, she had a responsibility to make sure her child was safe! I’d kill anyone who put a hand on mine!!

  • dc

    Momma is guilty, she let that boyfriend beat her baby. Shame on her. And she was NOT well taken care of. Had that been true, she would still be alive. Shame Shame!

  • alexus

    NOBODY deserve to get beat expecailly no lil baby , the man was dead wrong it aint nothing in this world that baby was doing to make him that f*** mad to beat her .! POINT BLANK kids or going to be kids he deserve to die !

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