Grieving father forgives infant son's killer but wants to see justice done

by Tobin Perry, |
Kyrie Crooms | Screenshot/NewsChannel 3

HAMPTON, Va. (Christian Examiner)—Although vowing to forgive his infant son's alleged killer, Maceo Barnes wants to see justice, too.

I have to say I forgive her. I have to. Because if I don't forgive her ... it would kill me.

Barnes told NewsChannel 3 out of Norfolk, Va.

The alleged murderer, 33-year-old Gracielle Garnett, was Kyrie Crooms' baby sitter on the evening of Nov. 30 when, according to court documents, she called the baby's mom and said Kyrie wasn't breathing.

Garnett called 911. Fire and Rescue units were dispatched to the home. Medics then found the 4-month-old baby unresponsive. After medics rushed the baby to the hospital, X-rays showed he suffered from abusive head trauma after being violently shaken.

"I had to ask the doctors, 'Is it going to get better or is it going to get worse?' I told him tell me the truth. And they told me that he's brain dead and is not going to get better," Barnes said.

Barnes then made the tough choice to take his infant son off of life support. As he made that decision, he says, he thought of the fishing trips, movies and basketball games that he and his son would never experience together. Kyrie died on Dec. 6.

"I'm trying to be this strong Christian person right now. If I think negative, and want to react in some type of revenge way, it won't get me anywhere and it won't bring my son back," Barnes told NewsChannel 3.

To make a donation to pay for Kyrie's medical bills and burial, click here. As of the morning of Dec. 10, almost a quarter of the needed money has been raised.