DeKalb County

Mother, girlfriend accused of beating 8-year-old girl to death denied bond

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Two women accused of murdering an 8-year-old girl were denied bond Wednesday.

Brittany Hall and her girlfriend, Celeste Owens, were charged with killing Hall’s daughter, Amari Hall, and then dumping her body in a shallow grave.

Amari Hall was first reported missing in November before her body was recovered two days later.

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Channel 2′s Audrey Washington was at the courthouse in Lawrenceville, where prosecutors told the judge that Brittany Hall and Owens beat the girl to death.

The medical examiner ruled that Amari Hall died from battered child syndrome.

The family was living in an extended stay motel when Amari was reported missing. Officers became concerned for the child when there were discrepancies in Brittany Hall and Owens’ story about her disappearance.


“When officers were able to review the various surveillance and noticed that Amari wasn’t seen anywhere on that surveillance or at the neighboring businesses, at that time they went ahead and called their special victims unit,” police said.

Police said they found disturbing deleted videos on Owens’ cellphone of Hall and Owens abusing Amari and her two siblings, slapping, hitting and stomping them. They also found searches on Owen’s phone for lakes in the area and U-Haul accounts.

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During the bond hearing, family members wiped away tears as the prosecutor detailed the abuse Amari Hall endured, which ultimately led to her death.

Battered child syndrome is defined as a collection of injuries sustained by a child as a result of repeated mistreatment or beating.

The women were handcuffed and in orange jumpsuits as the judge read her decision.

“The court is going to deny your request for bond,” the judge told the women. “You are certainly a risk to intimidate witnesses.”