Suspect accused of striking, killing toddler, grandmother fleeing from police denied bond

by: WSBTV.com<\/a> web staff Updated:

3-year-old Jordan Haynes.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A toddler and her grandmother are dead after investigators said a man fleeing from police struck the car they were riding in.

Now the suspect is apologizing as the victims' family try to cope the loss of two loved ones.

DeKalb County police said six people were in a car on Snapfinger Woods Drive Wednesday night when Jeremiah Warthen's SUV crossed into the wrong lane and hit the car.

Police said 3-year-old Jordan Haynes and her grandmother, Alicia Moxley, 57, were killed in the crash. The four other passengers, the 17-year-old driver, a 58-year-old man and 5- and 7-year-old boys, are in stable condition.

Warthen is facing 12 charges, including two counts of vehicular homicide, driving on the wrong side of the road, operating a vehicle while declared a habitual offender and cocaine trafficking. Police said officers found two ounces of cocaine in Warthen's hotel room.

Investigators said officers were doing a crime sweep in the area when Warthen tried to escape.

Police said before the fatal crash, Warthen rammed into a patrol car. The officer was not injured.

Police said Warthen tried to run from the second crash scene, but was caught by officers.

Warthen made his first court appearance Wednesday night. He was escorted to court by a team of DeKalb County Police SWAT officers.

As he walked into court, Warthen apologized to the family police said he hit.

"I just want to say I'm sorry, and it was an accident." he said. "I'm praying every day for them and my family. I pray that God takes care of all of us. "

In court Thursday, a magistrate judge read 13 counts against Warthen ranging from two counts of homicide by vehicle to driving without a seat belt.

After the judge denied Warthen bond, he continued to apologize as he was taken back to jail.

Channel 2's Tony Thomas asked him why he fled the scene.

"I panicked. I just panicked man. I wasn't trying to hurt no one. I didn't intentionally try to hurt the people in the car. I was just panicking and I wasn't trying to go to jail," Warthen said. "I'm sorry for their loss and I'll be praying."

Channel 2's Tom Regan also talked to Moxley's daughter, Zakyia Davis, who said her heart was broken and struggled to comprehend the sudden loss of her mother and niece.

'I'm at a loss for words," Davis told Regan. "My sister, my father, my two nephews were in critical condition, my mother, my niece, they're not even here, this is something ... I don't believe it."

Regan asked Davis what she would say to Warthen about the death of her mother and niece.

"She didn't raise me to have vengeance in my heart. I don't have anybody, but somebody is going to pay, someone is going to answer why this went the way it did," Davis said.

Davis said she will have cherished memories of her niece Jordan.

"She was very loving, very smart, articulate for a 3-year-old," Davis said.

Davis said her mother's kindness and generosity knew no bounds.

"I'm just so proud to be her daughter, I'm so proud," Davis said.

Davis told Regan in the days ahead she will be spending a lot of time in the two hospitals where her father, sister and nephews are being treated.

 

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Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant spent all day Thursday digging into Warthen's past.

Diamant found the 27-year-old has spent most of the last 10 years either in prison or on probation.

Warthen has an extensive record just in DeKalb County alone.

In September 2012, Warthen pleaded guilty to two counts of terroristic threats and acts, firearm possession by a convicted felon, and simple battery from two June, 2010 arrests. He got five years' probation.

In March 2008, Warthen pleaded guilty to a couple of 2007 drug charges and got three years in jail with including credit for time served.

In August 2007, Warthen pleaded guilty to one terrorist threats and act charge from a 2006 arrest and got a year in prison and four more on probation.

In February 2003, Warthen pleaded guilty to felony aggravated assault, and several misdemeanors including pimping, contributing to delinquency of a minor, and obstruction. He was sentenced to 11 years: three in prison, eight on probation, which got revoked in 2008.

Warthen has also pleaded guilty to several other misdemeanor charges since 2003. Diamant also found two drug arrests in Fulton County: One in 2011, the other last year.