DeKalb mother sentenced to life for
suffocating 3-year-old daughter
By Rhonda Cook -The Atlanta
September 11, 2014
A 21-year-old DeKalb County mother was
sentenced to life in prison Thursday following her guilty plea to
murdering her 3-year-old daughter after an argument with her
According to testimony, Meriel Bemis and Troy
Walker fought on Feb. 23. Walker ultimately left the Stone
Mountain apartment where Bemis and her daughter lived.
At some point, Bemis notified Walker that she
had killed her child, prosecutors said. Walker came back to the
Landmark at Mountain View apartments to find Lela Bemis dead.
Still, he called 911 and attempted to administer CPR.
Lela was pronounced dead at Children’s
Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. She had been suffocated,
according to an autopsy report.
“As a mother, I could not begin to understand
how and why (Bemis) would take the life of her innocent child in
such a vicious way,” said Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth
Dalia Racine said during the hearing before DeKalb Superior Court
Judge Gregory Adams. “This sentence will never bring Lela back,
however, there is justice in the fact that Meriel has assumed some
level of responsibility and will serve a life sentence for her
Prosecutors: Text messages sparked
June 24, 2014
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Prosecutors say text
messages from another woman may have led a mother to suffocate her
Channel 2's Tom Jones spent the day in the
DeKalb County Courthouse as prosecutors asked a judge to deny bond
for Meriel Bemis.
Prosecutors say Bemis' boyfriend told her he
was leaving her after an argument over text messages he received
from another woman.
Bemis repeatedly called her boyfriend but he
refused to pick up the phone. When he did, prosecutors say Bemis
had already killed her daughter.
"When he does (pick up the phone), he hears
this defendant screaming on the other line, "I killed her,'"
Assistant District Attorney Dailia Racine said.
Racine explained that Bemis told police she
took the 3-year-old out of bed, "takes her to the bathroom floor
and smothers her with a pillow."
Racine also said that Bemis made an attempt to
The testimony was so graphic, Judge Gregory
Adams asked some of the parents to remove children from the
Bemis' defense attorney said his client is
adopted and feels unwanted and is always looking for love. She
entered a not guilty plea.
Adams refused to grant bond and set the trial
for Sept. 22.
Mother admits to suffocating 3-year-old
By Tom Jones - Wsbtv.com
February 25, 2014
STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. - Police said a mother has
admitted to suffocating her 3-year-old child because she was upset
her boyfriend broke up with her.
Meriel Bemis, 21, faces felony murder charges
in connection with the death of Lela Bemis. Police said Bemis
murdered her daughter between Sunday night and Monday morning at
the Landmark at Mountainview Apartments in Stone Mountain.
People who learned the details surrounding the
murder were shaken by the allegations.
"That's sad that that's what she would do as a
result of her boyfriend breaking up with her," Robert Atkins said.
Officers said Bemis and her boyfriend argued
and he left the apartment. Detectives say the boyfriend later
received a phone call from Bemis saying Lela was unconscious.
He arrived to find the child unresponsive in
the bathroom. Lela was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Officers say Bemis admitted she used a pillow
to suffocate Lela because her boyfriend broke up with her.
"That's sad. That's terrible. I don't… that's
not a reason to kill your child," one woman told Channel 2’s Tom
"That just sounds to me like somebody who has
completely lost it. They're just like... my life... what does it
mean,?" Monica Kasson said.
She waived her first court appearance. People
shocked by the case say it appears Bemis just lost it.
"There's definitely some type of mental case or
something going on," a Stone Mountain shopper said.
"That just seems like something wouldn't just
pop up out of somebody out of nowhere to kill your own child
because of your love for someone else," Atkins commented.
On Bemis's Facebook page, there are several
pictures of her and her boyfriend in loving embrace or making
People commented on how in love they were.
There are also pictures of Bemis with Lela.
Bemis has a March 20 court appearance
scheduled. She will remain locked up at least until then.
Georgia mother, 21, accused of murdering her three-year-old
Meriel Bemis was charged with murder after her
three-year-old daughter Lela Bemis was found dead in her apartment
No cause of death has been publicly released,
the young mother appears to be the only suspect
By Ryan Gorman - DailyMail.co.uk
February 24, 2014
A suburban Atlanta mother stands accused of
murdering her three-year-old daughter.
Meriel Bemis, 21, who lives in DeKalb County,
was arrested early Monday morning after her boyfriend called 911
Sunday night when he found the girl dead in Bemis’ apartment.
Details surrounding the girl’s death are
scarce. Authorities have only identified her as Lela Bemis, WSB
No information about the cause of her death has
yet been released, and a message left with DeKalb County Police
was not immediately returned.
Meriel Bemis was home alone with the child,
according to the station, and frantically called her boyfriend
saying the child was lifeless.
He called 911 when he arrived just before
midnight Sunday. Police told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that
he does not face any charges over her death.
The young mother's Facebook and Google Plus
profiles say she was studying dance at Mt San Jacinto College, in
California, but the last dance-related posting appears during what
would have been the fall 2013 semester.
Several pictures depict a loving
mother-daughter relationship, and show her with an unidentified
man presumably her boyfriend.
Her Pinterest profile says ‘I'm an artsy,
snarky, classy, dancing mommy :),’ and shows off her cooking, arts
and crafts and dance interest.
Outwardly she was the picture of a perfect
mother, but it something went terribly wrong over the weekend.
Meriel Bemis’ last pictures posted to Facebook
only three days ago don’t show anything out of the ordinary, only
the same smiles and goofy faces as all the other snaps.
They are a far cry from the desheveled woman
shown in the mug shot taken early Monday morning.
It is not clear if the boyfriend, who has not
been identified, is the baby’s father. Also not known is what
prompted the mother to leave school and move to Atlanta.
Police arrested Meriel Bemis, charged her with
murder and booked her into the county jail just before 6:30 am
Monday, according to court records.
No bail has been set.