Boyfriend faces murder charge in child's death

David Joe Mann Jr.

David Joe Mann Jr.

COVINGTON -- A 25-year-old man faces a murder charge following the death of his girlfriend's 7-year-old son.

Ethan Israel Martinez died Sunday at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston due to blunt force trauma to the head, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

The suspect, David Joe Mann Jr., of 20 Paden St., was initially charged with cruelty to children and aggravated battery after Newton County EMS was called to his home on Sept. 18, when Martinez was found to be unresponsive. He was transported to Egleston via ambulance with life-threatening injuries.

Mann was arrested Sept. 20 following an investigation by the Sheriff's Office and has been in jail since that time, according NCSO spokesman Lt. Tyrone Oliver. Charges against Mann were upgraded to felony murder following the child's death on Sept. 23.

Mann is being held without bond. Oliver said the NCSO has obtained a statement from Mann.

According to Oliver, Mann was the only adult in the home when EMS was called to the scene. Oliver said Mann and the mother of the victim are the parents of a 6-month-old child. The couple live in a subdivision off Ga. Highway 81 South. Oliver said they had lived together for 18 months to two years.

Oliver declined to give any details about what led to the child's death, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.

Martinez was a student at Livingston Elementary School.

“We are deeply saddened by Ethan’s death and we know his classmates will be too,” said Sherri Davis-Viniard, director of public relations for the Newton County School System. “Counselors will be on hand at Livingston for students and teachers when they return from fall Break. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ethan’s family during this difficult time.”


GodBlessEthan 3 years, 2 months ago

Please have some respect for the loss of this young life and take your petty political mudslinging elsewhere.


Covingtonian 3 years, 2 months ago

LaQuanda 2012 I hope you don't have much money because the saying about a fool and his money readily comes to mind. I say this because a child has lost his life to some low life and all you can say is something totally irrevalent. Many have expressed dismay because of the school system when we really should be concerned about the level of intelligence that is displayed in this county by those who choose to use the local media to express themselves. Please Baxter and other industries considering our county, the entire populace isn't foolish, most of the intlligent folks don't even post. Many are hoping that if they don't say anything those with so much to say will just go away. To the family of the young man and those who knew him I am sorry for your lost, such a thing shouldn't happen to any child in any community.


Frustrated 3 years, 2 months ago

I dont understand the attitude thats going on these days. Thugs walking around robbing someone just because they want what the other person has, people shooting one another because of theway they were looked at, "adults" killing children because they cant control their temper. There has to be a change and it has to start at home when they are young. Teach children respect not only for others but for themselves.


sunshine 3 years, 2 months ago

Any negativity you have please post on another page. This is a precious child that lost his life. My thoughts go out to this little boys family and classmates!


molasses 3 years, 1 month ago

Poor baby, such a shame and tragedy. Condolonces to the family and friends.


lela 3 years, 1 month ago

It is very, very sad that this child is no longer with us. My prayers go to the family as I know quite a few of the members. I do have a question in the accused's defense. What happend to innocent until proven guilty in the USA?


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