6-month-old boy dies after being thrown against wall by mother's friend, she says

Mother of suspect defends son

CINCINNATI - A 6-month-old boy died after being thrown against a wall by his mother's friend, the baby's mother said Monday.

The mother, Caitlyn Pemberton, told NewsChannel5 Scripps station WCPO that Frederick Mitchell, 20, admitted to her that he threw Elliott Megrditchian while Frederick was babysitting last Friday at the home the three shared in East Price Hill.

Pemberton said she was at work at the time of the incident.

Frederick Mitchell's mother, Angela Mitchell, said it was "a tragic accident" and was shocked at the news of the allegations against her son.

"It's so heartbreaking. Especially with such a beautiful child. We all loved Elliott, we adored that little boy," said Angela Mitchell.

Frederick has been jailed since Friday, charged with felonious assault. New charges could be filed following the baby's death.

Angela said her son, the baby and Pemberton lived in the house next to hers for about a week. She said she believes her son did not intentionally harm the child.

"He says he blacked out and don't remember what happened. And I believe him. I believe that's what happened. That he was going to pass out and he tried to throw the baby on the bed. He was gone and passed out," said Angela.

Angela said her son woke up and found the baby on the floor not breathing. She said he then called right away for help.

"He dearly loves this child, he dearly loves this girl. He's loved this girl since high school. It makes no sense that he would do that to hurt her or the baby," she said.

Pemberton said Frederick often watched her son while she worked. She says he admitted to her that he threw the baby against a wall.

Pemberton emailed a statement to WCPO Monday night in which she described Frederick as a "monster."

"I would never see nor expect this to come, not with all the other hardships in my life to face, this isn't something that I would ever see coming. Especially not from Fred. It came as a total shock, when I was informed by the detective what happened. I was in tears and ran out of the room," stated Pemberton in part. 

Angela says she will continue to fight for her son's rights.

"It's killing him. He's going to blame himself for the rest of his life," she said.

Contrary to what a neighbor said, Pemberton said that Frederick is not her boyfriend.

The neighbor, Brian Shelton, said he was surprised to hear the allegations because Frederick seemed to care about the baby.

The baby was taken to Children's Hospital by ambulance after the incident on Friday, March 8. He died on Sunday, Pemberton said.

Frederick is scheduled to appear in front of a grand jury on Monday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m.

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