DELAND, FL – This evening, Brandon Williams, 31, was arrested on a charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child in the 2018 death of Kamia Jean-Baptiste. A warrant for Williams’ arrest was obtained Tuesday, the day after Janee Dickson was sentenced to 25 years in prison for her own role in Kamia’s death.
“Kamia has never been forgotten here, and the detectives assigned to this case were never going to give up on getting justice for her,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said Wednesday. “I don’t know if true justice is even possible in a case where a 7-year-old girl’s whole life was brutally stolen, but we never quit fighting for Kamia, and now that fight will continue through the courts.”
“Our 7-year-old victim was tortuously beaten and allowed to suffer for several hours before she was taken to the hospital for treatment – but it was too late to save her,” State Attorney R.J. Larizza said. “This gut-wrenching crime demands our best efforts to seek accountability and justice.”
According to arresting affidavits, on March 6th, 2018, the Volusia Sheriff’s Office Major Case Unit, responded to Florida Hospital, South, Orlando, in reference to a victim, Kamia Jean-Baptiste, who was seven years of age, having been airlifted to the facility from Florida Hospital, Deland. VSO detectives were originally contacted by the Orlando Police Department due to the fact that the victim appeared to show signs of abuse and that the abuse probably occurred in Volusia County. Detectives also learned that the victim was brought to the emergency room in Deland by her mother, Janee Dickson.
Detectives spoke with Orlando Police Department Officer Clinton Keller, who stated that the victim appeared to have signs of visible trauma. Detectives conducted a non-custodial recorded interview with Janee and she said Kamia was playing at Freedom Park in Deland the day prior and approximately three children came down on top of her and Kamia later complained of a headache. Janee advised that other than that, she could not think of anything that happened to injure Kamia. When asked about the bruising present on Kamia’s legs, and other injuries on her arms, Janee said she had not been aware of them and had only first seen them when hospital staff alerted her about them. Janee stated that she is solely responsible for Kamia’s discipline but does not ever do anything that could cause bruising.
Janee also added that her boyfriend, Brandon Williams, has not ever hit Kamia. Going into further detail about the day prior, Janee said she, Brandon, and Kamia went to McDonald’s located at 102 East International Speedway 19 Blvd in Deland and ate dinner. After leaving McDonald’s, the trio returned to a Deltona Boulevard, Deltona address where they had been living with Brandon’s aunt since January 2018. Janee advised that the trio all stay in the same room at the residence. She added that when it was time to sleep, she and Kamia slept in the bed and Brandon slept on the floor.
Janee said on March 6th, everyone woke up between 7:00 and 7:30AM. Janee advised that Kamia appeared to physically be fine; however, she was saying that she was having some trouble breathing. The trio then made their way to a different McDonald’s in Deland (this one located at 1075 25 Williamsburg Place). Kamia told Janee her breathing was becoming worse and Janee called her friend “T” later identified as Taneigherine, who works in the medical field and asked her what she should do if Kamia was having an asthma attack. Janee said Kamia then became unresponsive and Janee and Brandon brought her to Florida Hospital, Deland.
It should be noted that even though Janee told detectives that Brandon was on his way from Deland to the hospital in Orlando, he did not arrive during the several hour period that detectives were present. Orlando Police crime scene officers took photos of Kamia as she was at the hospital. On March 7th, 2018, Detective Lemay was advised that Kamia had died. An autopsy conducted at the District 9 Medical Examiner’s office determined that Kamia suffered from hemorrhaging of the soft tissue in her legs, buttocks, and back which were likely sustained as a result of abuse. The cause of death in the autopsy report is blunt force trauma and the manner of death was ruled a homicide.
On March 8th, 2018, a search warrant was executed on the Deltona Boulevard residence. As a result of the search warrant, detectives learned from the residents, Eileen and Brian, Brandon’s mother and brother, that they had no knowledge of Janee or Kamia and that Brandon had not lived there in years.
Also on March 8th, Detectives Lemay and Ford contacted Janee at the VSO District 2 Office and a digitally recorded interview was obtained. Janee was read her Miranda Rights which she understood and advised she wished to continue with the interview. At first she asked if she could stay on the phone with an unknown individual through the interview; however, detectives advised they would like to have her full attention. Detectives went over Janee’s personal statement provided on March 6th. Janee provided a very similar account of events surrounding the incident as provided previously. She did admit to lying about where she, Brandon and the victim were staying. She admitted that they were primarily living out of her vehicle and occasionally staying with random friends of Brandon’s. Detectives then attempted to confront Janee with evidence suggesting that she (Janee) might have more involvement with Kamia’s death; however, Janee advised she no longer wanted to continue the interview and left the office on her own accord.
On March 9th, 2018, a search warrant was obtained for Janee’s registered vehicle, a 2017 Kia Forte with FL tag and it was located, occupied by both Janee and Brandon, on Carver Street, in Deland. The vehicle was seized and cellular phones belonging to both Janee and Brandon remained in the vehicle when it was seized. The search warrant was later executed on Janee’s vehicle at the VSO evidence facility. The vehicle interior and trunk was loaded to the point of overflowing with clothes, food, suitcases, and trash including the floors of the drivers and passengers seat. There was a small area in the back seat where Kamia could have fit; however, the rest of the back seat was stuffed to the point where one could not even see out of the opposite window.
On March 12th, 2018, Detectives Lemay and Amrhine conducted a voluntary recorded interview with Brandon. During his interview, Brandon acknowledged he, Janee, and Kamia never stayed at the Deltona Boulevard address. He stated that after going to the playground on March 5th, they went to several other places to include the county administration building and had dinner at a taco stand rather than McDonald’s. Brandon advised that on multiple occasions he had knowledge of Janee physically striking Kamia to the extent that he would consider it excessive. He specifically referenced an incident at the Lighthouse Church in Deland where Janee took Kamia out of the car and physically disciplined her for 10-15 minutes behind the car. Brandon said he did not visually observe this happening but he could hear it and Kamia was crying when they re-entered the car. Brandon could not remember on which exact day this incident took place. During the interview Brandon stated that he has taken care of kids before and that if he sees kids being mistreated, he has no problem stepping in and taking care of the kids himself. When asked about the marks on Kamia’s body Brandon advised he saw red marks on her, presumably from her fall at the playground that happened on March 5th. He also said that he has seen Kamia scratch at mosquito bites until they scab up.
On March 29th, 2018, Brandon was arrested on a non-related incident and brought to VSO Operations for a second recorded interview. During the interview, which was non-custodial, Brandon advised that he had a biological daughter but hasn’t been able to see her recently so he treats Kamia like his daughter. He reiterated that he had knowledge of Janee hitting Kamia on multiple occasions but never actually witnessed it or heard it; he only knew that it had occurred if he would see Kamia crying. He advised that the most recent incident that he could recall was on a Saturday or Sunday (March 3rd or 4th) when all three of them were staying at the Budget Inn in Deland. When he returned to the hotel room, he saw Janee and Kamia coming out of the bathroom and Kamia was crying at which time he noticed red markings on her legs. He told detectives that he never said anything to Janee about her disciplinary practices because even though he did not agree with hitting a child, Kamia was Janee’s child and he did not consider it his business. Brandon was unable to accurately remember any dates/times that he, Janee, and Kamia were in specific locations in order to establish an accurate timeline and provide better information as to their whereabouts.
After the death of Kamia, Janee continued to live transiently with Brandon in Deland. On April 7th, 2018, Del. Lemay learned that Janee was moving to Charlotte, North Carolina with her father.
On April 12th, 2018, Detective Lemay spoke with Janee by phone after she specifically reached out wishing to speak again. A recorded interview was conducted and Janee advised she wished to provide additional information about Kamia’s death. During the interview, Janee advised that at approximately 6:00 PM on March 5th, she, Brandon and Kamia were inside her car on Carver Street in Deland. Brandon became angry with Kamia because Kamia kept asking to go to the bathroom; however, when given the chance she would not go. Brandon did not believe Janee disciplined Kamia adequately when Kamia kept asking to go to the bathroom. He drove to a dead end side-street off of Carver and pulled Kamia out of the car and beat her for about 15-20 minutes. The only reason the beating stopped is because Brandon said he had somewhere to be. A couple hours after that they went to the McDonalds on East International Speedway Boulevard in Deland. Janee went inside to use the restroom and get something to drink but Brandon would not allow Kamia to go inside. When Janee came outside she saw Brandon walking back to the driver’s side door and Kamia told her he hit her again.
Afterwards Brandon brought them to Beresford Cemetery where he continued to beat Kamia which she advised is when and what caused all of the marks on Kamia’s arms and legs. This beating lasted for about 30 minutes and included Kamia jumping back into the car and curling up to keep him from hitting her. Janee said Brandon hit her in the head and dragged her back out and continued hitting her. After the beating, and for the rest of the night afterwards, Kamia was breathing hard. Brandon was telling Janee to ignore her because Kamia was faking it. Around 11:00 PM-midnight they stopped at Racetrac on South Woodland Blvd in Deland and Kamia got out of the car. Kamia could barely walk and her legs were giving out as a result of the beating. Janee described Kamia as incoherent, with a nonchalant attitude like she didn’t care, it was done and just wanted to sleep.
In the morning hours Janee advised she literally watched Kamia stop breathing. She said she had a medical history as a CNA and when asked if Kamia had passed away before she got to the hospital Janee replied “basically, yeah”. She advised the morning after Kamia’s death (March 7th) Brandon got rid of Kamia’s clothes and what he hit her with. When she and Brandon returned to Deland from Orlando, they went to Wal-Mart on North Woodland Boulevard to exchange Brandon’s iPhone which is when she believes he got rid of the items. She went in Wal-Mart by herself while Brandon stayed at the car to “clean it out a little bit”. Later in the day, she was looking for Kamia’s personal items and he told her he threw them away so they did not remind her of what happened. She does not know where he disposed of them. Janee told Detective Lemay that she did not disclose any of this information before because she was afraid of Brandon. He had held a gun to her head before and had told her things about his military background that had scared her. It should be noted that before the phone call with Janee, detectives had spoken to her at length several times while Brandon was nowhere nearby and she could have safety disclosed this information, however she did not.
Detective Lemay later spoke with Dr. Utz, the Associate Medical Examiner who conducted the autopsy on Kamia, about the new information. Dr. Utz advised it was possible that some of the marks on Kamia could have been caused by a weapon that was not identified and redacted in charging affidavits. However, he stated he is usually not comfortable about making determinations on specifically what caused an injury if the object is not 100% known.
On May 1st, 2018, Detectives Lemay and Amrhine made contact with Brandon in order to attempt a controlled call with Janee. Detectives advised Brandon that Janee was attempting to place blame for Kamia’s death on him. Brandon maintained that he had never struck Kamia and agreed to conduct a controlled call from him to Janee; however, Janee did not answer the phone when called. Brandon advised he would continue trying to talk to Janee and see if he could get her to come clean about what happened to Kamia. Detectives located Brandon again on May 7th and he advised he was engaging in conversations with Janee again. At this time, Det. Lemay began obtaining a search warrant for the Instagram conversations between Brandon and Janee. Review of the chat conversations obtained from Instagram from May 5-6, 2018, show that the conversation started with Janee demanding an apology for what he did to Kamia and Brandon denying any knowledge of what happened. The conversation then changed to Janee complaining about being harassed by the cops and complaining about how hard her life has become. The remainder of the messages revolve around Brandon trying to repair the relationship and telling Janee that she does not need to talk to law enforcement and that they are going to try to turn him and Janee against each other. It is clear by the content of their conversation that Brandon had no intention of attempting to obtain any sort of confession or admission from Janee and that he was more concerned about getting their story straight and continuing on with their relationship.
Det. Lemay was able to recover Google location data via a search warrant for the phones being used by Janee, Brandon and Kamia. The data revealed that on March 5th they were at Wal-Mart at 1521 Granada Boulevard, Ormond Beach from 2:02 PM – 4:01 PM. They returned to Deland and were in the area of 1500 Carver Street from 5:14 PM-6:42 PM. From Carver Street they moved to the dead end of Orange Avenue, Deland, which is the next street East of Carver, and remained there from 6:43 PM-6:55 PM which coincides with where Janee alleged Brandon first struck Kamia. They went to several more locations before arriving at Beresford Cemetery where they remained from 7: 14 PM – 8:45 PM, where Janee alleged Brandon continued to beat Kamia. They arrived at the Racetrac at 2080 South Woodland Boulevard at 12:25 AM – 12:56 AM on March 6th. From the Racetrac, they visited several locations before ending up in the area of the Winn-Dixie at 1050 West New York Avenue, Deland, from 5:42 AM-8:06 AM. They arrived at Deland Hospital at 8:44 AM.
According to detectives, ultimately the evidence showed that all three parties were together on the day before Kamia’s death and that no outside individual could have beaten Kamia so badly to the point she succumbed to her injuries on March 7th. Detectives Lemay and Amrhine visited several locations from the GPS history and found the dead end of Orange Avenue to be over a hill and out of sight of any residences and anybody traveling on Beresford Road. The area is littered with garbage and detectives were unable to find any evidence of the crime at the location. Detectives found Beresford Cemetery did not have an actual address; however, is located at Lat: 29.0033278 Long:150 -81.3424969. The subjects’ GPS coordinates put them at the very back corner of the cemetery during the time they were there and out of view of people who may be passing on the road at the time.
Detectives recovered video from the Racetrac during the time the subjects were there. Detectives also recovered and reviewed video from Wal-Mart the day after Kamia’s death (March 7th).
On June 10th, 2019, at approximately 3:45 PM, Detective Amrhine conducted an interview with Janee Dickson at her residence located at 6003 162 Reserve Drive Apt. G, in Charlotte, NC. Janee was asked if she could provide specific details regarding the events that took place the day and night prior, and leading up to, her and Brandon taking Kamia to the hospital. She stated Brandon was “into drugs”, and they (Janee, Brandon, and Kamia) were driving around in Janee’s vehicle (the Kia Forte). Janee said the trio were at Carver Street in Deland, where Brandon would deal drugs. Janee said Brandon was in “one of his moods”, and he said Kamia was being “disruptive.” Brandon kept telling Janee that she did not discipline Kamia properly. Janee stated Brandon’s reasoning for this was that Kamia would interrupt him talking by saying she was hungry. Janee said Brandon threatened Kamia by saying he would beat her if she did not stop. They left Carver Street and Brandon drove them to a nearby dirt side street. Janee stated this area was where Brandon began beating Kamia from round 6:30 PM (on March 5, 2018, the night before taking Kamia to the hospital. Janee stated since Kamia kept running around attempting to get away from Brandon, the beating lasted approximately 15-20 minutes. Afterwards, they got back into the vehicle together and Brandon drove them back to Carver Street so he could presumably conduct more drug business.
Kamia was in the backseat on the passenger side on the vehicle at that time and Janee advised Kamia already showed signs of bruising. Janee stated Kamia was crying, but did not make any specific complaints. A little while later, after nighttime, they (Brandon, Janee, and Kamia) drove to a nearby cemetary off of SR-15a in Deland. Brandon continued beating Kamia at the cemetery. The second beating went on for about 20-30 minutes. Janee stated Kamia yelled for her and called out “Mommy!”, but Brandon grabbed her, held on to her, and continued to beat her.
Per Janee’s statement they left the cemetery around 9:00 PM and drove to a gas station. Janee took Kamia inside the store and observed Kamia barely being able to walk on her own. Janee stated she knew something was wrong as it was not normal for Kamia to function in that way. Janee also said Kamia told her that she was thirsty and couldn’t breathe well. Janee stated this too was not a normal occurrence. Janee advised Kamia had asthma at one point and was unsure if the troubled breathing was due to asthma. Det. Amrhine asked Janee if she had any medical devices or medications for asthma to utilize for Kamia if in fact she was having an attack, and she said no. Janee stated Kamia was also complaining that her body was hurting and Janee felt that this was a result of the beating.
Janee attempted to put Vaseline on the bruises on Kamia’s back but Brandon kept telling her to stop; he also kept telling her that they were not going to take Kamia to the hospital. Janee stated Kamia’s breathing trouble lasted throughout the night, that she had an inability to sleep and Kamia was constantly thirsty. Janee stated she provided water to Kamia but Kamia kept requesting more.
According to Janee, she could tell that Kamia was going into “shock”. Kamia was wheezing during her troubled breathing and Janee stated she knew that Kamia’s symptoms were as a result of the beating she received but did not think it would lead to her death. Janee advised she was unable to sleep through the night, but Brandon slept off and on. Kamia’s symptoms continued for about 12 hours or so until the next morning. Janee stated she felt Kamia’s body and observed that she was cold to the touch. Kamia’s breathing was worse at that point and her mouth appeared yellow in color. Janee stated Kamia’s body was also limp at that time. Kamia was not talking and Janee felt like she was “going out” at that point.
Janee stated she called her friend, Taneigherine, who told her to put steam under Kamia’s face. Brandon obtained some coffee from Publix and used that for steam but Kamia could not drink the coffee (it only bubbled on her lips). Janee stated Kamia’s eyes were open and glossy. Kamia then looked at her and stopped breathing. Janee stated Kamia’s head tilted to the side and Janee said she knew that Kamia was dead. She and Brandon, then decided to take Kamia to the hospital.
Detectives were not able to recover the implements which were allegedly used to hit Kamia. On November 22nd, 2019, Detectives conducted a recorded an interview with Brandon at the branch jail while he was there on unrelated charges. During the interview, Brandon admitted to knowing of Beresford Cemetery and said that he may have been there in the past but didn’t know how to get there. He said it was someplace that Janee found with her friend, Hope Walton. Brandon later said he didn’t think he’d ever been to the cemetery with Janee. Brandon denied going to Orange Avenue (next to Carver Street) on the date of the incident. He also denied going to Beresford Cemetery the night of March 5-6, saying he was pretty sure he stayed at the Carver house.
Brandon told detectives he had been up five or six days and that he was knocked out that night (March 5th). That the only things he remembered were Carver Street, Racetrac and sleeping in the Winn-Dixie parking lot. He said they went to Racetrac so Janee and Kamia could use the bathroom and at that point that he was more than likely driving. Brandon then stated that he might have been at Beresford Cemetery that night, but just remembers Janee and Kamia getting into and out of the car a bunch. Brandon advised he didn’t know when or where the beating happened and said Janee must have done it while he was asleep.
Later, when speaking about what happened to Kamia, Brandon spoke of thinking about what he just went through having to bring them to the hospital and worrying that the cops were going to come looking for him. Brandon did not explain why he was worried that law enforcement was going to come looking for him. Brandon again spoke about stopping at Racetrac in the early morning of March 6th. He remembered Kamia kept wanting water and said Janee didn’t want to give it to her because it was going to make her have to pee. Brandon said he didn’t really remember stopping at Racetrac; he was “out of it” and didn’t even remember if he drove or Janee drove or even where they parked.
Based on what detectives considered as the “totality of circumstances” and evidence collected, probable cause had been developed that Brandon Williams committed the offense of aggravated manslaughter of a child pertaining to the death of Kamia Jean-Baptiste and obtained an arrest warrant that was dated yesterday. Williams was taken into custody this evening, August 11, 2021, and is being interviewed by detectives prior to transport to the Volusia County Branch Jail where he is being held with no bond.