Philadelphia man admits to brutally beating, killing 20-month-old in bathtub

Kristen Johanson
November 18, 2019 - 3:51 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — As part of a plea deal with the district attorney, a Philadelphia man has admitted to brutally beating a baby to death more than a year ago. According to responding officers, the man blamed the child’s death on noodles. 

James Shedrick pleaded guilty to third-degree murder for the death of 20-month-old Isaiah McNeil, as well as to charges of assault and recklessly endangering a child. He also admitted he whipped the baby’s 8-year-old brother with a belt and assaulted their mother. 

In August 2018, police were called to a home on Judson Street, where they found the baby unconscious. Shedrick was watching the baby and the 8-year-old that day, because the child’s mother — his girlfriend — was picking up her other two children.

Shedrick, 27, told the older boy he was going to bathe the baby. Instead, prosecutors say he brutally beat the child in the tub — so much so that his liver, pancreas and aorta were lacerated. The boy’s small body was bruised and contused. 

Prosecutors noted the 8-year-old heard the beating and his brother crying, until he suddenly stopped.  

Shedrick called police and told them the child choked on ramen noodles. When officers raced the child to the hospital, Shedrick took off. They eventually caught up with him and arrested him, after an autopsy revealed Isaiah’s violent injuries. 

Days prior to the beating, officials say Shedrick also assaulted the children’s mother because he didn’t like what she was wearing.  

While prosecutors read through the facts of the case during the plea hearing, Shedrick shifted through papers and seemingly took notes, but he didn’t look up while they recounted the brutal details.

The defendant claims he has ADHD and at times is schizophrenic, so the judge ordered a mental health evaluation before his January sentencing. 

If convicted, he could face up to 40 years in prison.