SC couple arrested in death of 14-month-old boy in Lancaster

A South Carolina man and his girlfriend are facing charges in connection to the murder of his 14-month-old son last November.

De'Yontae Monterio Miller Sr., 25, and Ramesha Monet Brantley, 23, were arrested Tuesday by Lancaster County Sheriff's deputies.

Deputies were called on the night of Nov. 6, 2018 to 989 14th Street in Lancaster regarding an unresponsive child. Miller's 14-month-old son was taken to the hospital where he later died. 

An autopsy of the child's body found the cause of death to be nonaccidental blunt force trauma of the head, the neck, the torso, and the extremities. The child had fractured ribs and a fractured leg. Some of the injuries were recent, but others were weeks old.

Another one-year-old male child, who is the child of Miller and Brantley, and a now three-year-old female child of Miller, who is also not Brantley’s child, also lived in the home.

A search warrant for the home revealed that it had no running water and little food. Deputies found conditions "unsuitable for small children," including the presence of over-the-counter and prescription medications, hard candies, and rodent poison in locations accessible to the children. Investigators also found two grams of suspected crack cocaine and approximately 2.8 grams of suspected marijuana along with two sets of digital scales. 

On Tuesday, deputies searched a different home occupied by Miller and Brantley and found 14 grams of suspected marijuana and scales.

“This has been a long but thorough investigation,” said Sheriff Barry Faile.  “Multiple agencies have been working on the case for several months.  Many interviews have been conducted.  The backgrounds of these adults and children have been examined.  Forensic evidence has been tested.  When we were satisfied we knew what happened to this child, we sought warrants from the magistrate and made the arrests.  This has been a difficult investigation for all those involved and certainly a sad and tragic end to the life of this child.”    

Brantley is charged with Homicide by Child Abuse, three counts of Unlawful Neglect of a Child or Helpless Person, Possession with Intent to Distribute Crack Cocaine, and two counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana. Brantley’s bond was denied. 

Miller is charged with three counts of Unlawful Neglect of a Child or Helpless Person, Possession with Intent to Distribute Crack Cocaine, and two counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana.  His bond was set at $90,000.00.  He posted bond earlier Thursday and was released.