Days before 2nd child dies, parents’ earlier murder charges dropped
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Two Augusta parents were arrested for the second time in two years over a baby’s suspicious death.
Samson Scott, 6 months old, was pronounced dead at 11:11 p.m. Tuesday at Augusta University Medical Center. He was the brother of Travis Scott, who died on Feb. 13, 2021, after his parents Tyrone Scott and Salena Tyler were accused of repeatedly turning off the ventilator of the boy who’d been born prematurely.
Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen reported signs of neglect in 2021. So how were they able to have a second child in their care?
Our I-TEAM has been combing through the documents we got in an open records request from the district attorney’s office about that case.
All of those charges were dismissed 21 days ago. The documents say, “although there appears to be probable cause for the issuance of the warrant, there does not appear to be sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”
And with that, felony murder and cruelty to children in the first degree disappeared from their records. Stamped and approved... just 18 days before their 6-month-old would take his last breath.
Samson was found unresponsive Tuesday night after enduring “extreme living conditions” in his home at 1906 Watkins Street, according to authorities. Bowen says the death has been ruled suspicious, and an autopsy has been scheduled.
The parents were arrested again Wednesday and charged with cruelty to children in the second degree, according to jail records.
The latest arrest warrants for the parents detail the conditions at the home where Samson was found.
“While under the influence of various substances, the accused and co-defendant left said minor unsupervised in another room of their residence for a minimum of approximately two (2) hours without food or care,” the arrest warrants state. “Said minor was subject to extreme living conditions, which included, but not limited to, roach infestation, exposure to illegal narcotics and alcohol, broken furniture, and dangerous instruments. The child would later succumb to health complications.“
An incident report from deputies offers a similar picture.
At 11:29 p.m. Tuesday, deputies responded to Augusta University Medical Center, where Tyler “stated that her and her husband Tyrone left their 6 month old baby alone in the living room around 2200hrs in the reclining couch ‘on his back but kind of on his back’ and after watching TV for around forty something minutes,” deputies wrote.
When Scott went into the room to check on their child, the baby was unresponsive, so the parents dialed 911 and began chest compressions.
An ambulance transported the baby to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Family members going in and out of the house on Wednesday told the media they won’t be talking because it’s a tough time for them.
In the 2021 case, Scott and Tyler were accused of repeatedly turning off 1-year-old Travis’ ventilator, which investigators say led to his death.
The parents were both arrested and charged with murder and cruelty to children.
Bond was set for them some time ago.
When we asked about it, the Augusta District Attorney’s Office said News 12 would have to file an open records request before they’d give us the details.
“In reference to the 2021 case (DA File # 21RIC00272, State v. Salena Devine Scott and Tyrone Christopher Scott) the file will be obtained, redacted in accordance with the law and you will be sent an Invoice. In reference to last night’s case, it would be considered an open case and no documentation would be available from the DA’s Office under the Open Records Act,” Investigator Greg Newsome wrote in an email to News 12.
Travis was born prematurely with lung problems, so he had to use a ventilator.
The mother and father claimed Travis would pull out his own tracheotomy tube and an alarm would not go off as it was supposed to.
Doctors say the only way this could happen is if the tube is pulled out, and then something else covers the hole in the neck to “trick” the machine.
The parents say the baby would put his fingers there to cover the hole. Doctors say a baby’s fingers are too small to fully cover the hole, so that would be impossible.
“The accused and co-defendant were given orders by multiple nurses and respiratory therapist not to turn off the victim’s ventilator, however, they went against medical orders and turned off the ventilator on several different occasions,” authorities said in the 2021 arrest warrants for the parents.
“During the investigation, it was found that there was neglect on the part of both listed offenders/parents of the victim ... that led to the death of the victim,” according to a case report from deputies. The coroner also blamed neglect for the death.
According to prosecutors, law enforcement officers said when they searched the home after Travis’ death, the residence smelled like marijuana and smoke, clearly bad conditions for a child with a lung disease.
Prosecutors said there was no bedding on the crib, it looked like the baby had been sleeping on a pad on the floor and the house was in “disarray.”
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