NBC10 Philadelphia - Lu Ann Cahn
Floyd and Tina Wimes appeared in court Wednesday for the murder of their son Khalil Wimes. The foster family couldn't believe what they heard in court. NBC10's Lu Ann Cahn reports.
The courtroom gasped on Tuesday as shocking details were revealed in the case of a local couple charged in the death of their young son.
Khalil Wimes, 6, died last month due to blunt force trauma and malnutrition, which prosecutors say was the culmination of months of starvation and abuse. Khalil’s parents Tina Wimes, 44, and Floyd Wimes, 48, were both arrested and charged with murder.
A preliminary hearing took place on Wednesday. During the hearing, an assistant medical examiner took the stand and described the boy’s body at the time of his death. He claimed it was covered with scars, both old and new.
Floyd Wimes wiped tears from his eyes while Tina Wimes appeared to cover up a smile as a detective read her alleged confession to the court. Police say she told them on March 19 that Khalil fell when getting out of a tub. She allegedly hit him on the back of the head, causing him to become disoriented. She also allegedly told police that she often hit him because he was misbehaving or messing up. Finally, police say she confessed to not letting him out of the house for a month and that he was underweight because he wouldn’t drink water. Khalil only weighed 29 pounds at the time of his death, according to the medical examiner.
Floyd Wimes allegedly told police they never took Khalil to the doctor because they were afraid they would call the Department of Health Services. Their five other children had already been removed from their care because of an alleged history of drug abuse, neglect and child abuse. Khalil himself was removed from the couple and lived with a foster family for three years. They claim a family court judge forced them to return Khalil to the Wimes after he turned 3 however.
“I’m horrified,” said Alicia Nixon, Khalil’s foster mother. “I couldn’t believe they could be those kinds of people.”
“He was defiant, they tried to break him and they couldn’t,” said La Reine Nixon, Khalil’s foster grandmother. “That’s why they did this to him.”
Investigators say a DHS worker had been in the Wimes home before Khalil died to check on another visiting child. On Tuesday, Mayor Nutter announced that worker had been relieved of duty pending an investigation.
“I find it extremely troubling that someone from the outside would have seen this child within a few weeks of his death and not made any reports,” said Assistant District Attorney Ed McCann.
NBC10 reached out to DHS but the department had no comment.
Defense attorneys for the Wimes say their clients can’t be convicted of murder because it was not an intentional death.
“There is no evidence that my client did anything to intentionally, recklessly or negligently bring about the death of his son,” said Derrick Coker, the defense attorney for Floyd Wimes.
An arraignment for the Wimes is set for May 16.