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Shocking Details Emerge in Martinsburg Abuse Case

Shocking details are coming to light about a Martinsburg child who suffered a lifetime of alleged abuse. Police say three-year-old Kaiwon Connelly died last Saturday after being beaten and burned by his father.
MARTINSBURG, WV - Details are coming to light about a child who suffered a lifetime of alleged abuse. Police say three-year-old Kaiwon Connelly died last Saturday after being beaten and burned by his father.

As friends mourn the loss of the three-year-old, they now realize the signs alleged abuse he suffered.

"By looking at him you could tell something was going on, but I didn't want to come out and say anything because it wasn't my business," says neighbor Danny Bagent.

Police say it's one of the worst child abuse cases they've ever seen. Both the father, James Mauldin and his girlfriend, Jasmine Dawkins, have been charged with child abuse resulting in death.

After Kaiwon collapsed at his home on Joshua Drive in Martsinburg, Dawkins told police she had seen Mauldin beating him in the head just a few days before.

"I don't know why she wouldn't tell because they have a baby together," says Dawkins' co-worker Kayla Tucker.

Police say his mother, who lives in Prince George's County, served a nine-month sentence for child neglect.

"As soon as I told her, she hung up the phone," says Trooper Z. Conner.

Police say CAT scans revealed old injuries starting from when Kaiwon was just a few months old.

"You did see bruises on his arm and stuff like that," says Bagent. "But being there with his dad, it didn't seem like his dad would do something like that."

Police say burns on the child's lower body came from a metal pan Mauldin would heat, when he would force the child to sit in a squat position as punishment.

"He would heat up a pan, and put it underneath the child," says Conner. "The child would obviously get tired, causing multiple burns on his body."

However somehow, the abuse never broke Kaiwon's spirit.

"He was sweet, he was the sweetest thing," says Tucker. "Like if you met him you'd fall in love with him and that's how it was."

Despite the abuse, friends say Kaiwon was a playful child who loved to sing. But there was one question he would always ask them.

"He always said, 'Can I come home with you?', that's what he asked," says Tucker.

Now the apartment where Kaiwon lived is covered with memorials.

Police say Kaiwon may have collapsed due to head trauma he sustained a few days before in a beating.
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