MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A 10-year-old boy is dead, and his family is defending the boy's mother who admitted to beating him before he killed himself.
"She ain't that type of person. She loves her son, and she'll do anything for him--and he loves her," aunt Tonya Bailey said.
Bailey is Robin McKinzie's sister. McKinzie was in court Tuesday on aggravated child abuse charges after her son, 10-year-old Jaheim, died from a stab wound in the chest.
McKinzie told police she beat and choked her son with an extension cord shortly before he ran into the kitchen and stabbed himself with a knife.
The family said Jaheim had been acting out at school, had mental health challenges, was off his medication, and was suicidal.
In addition, Bailey said her sister needed help raising her son.
"She let stuff just pile up and pile up, and as we know you should not whoop your child when you're upset," Bailey said. "I was explaining that to her. It's OK to ask for help; it's OK to get the medicine and help you need and not worry about the stigma that's going to be on them."
Bailey said she and her sister were hit with extension cords when they were young.
"I had issues as a child growing up, and I tried to slit my wrist after my mom whooped me because I didn't understand," Bailey said.
Jaheim was a fourth-grader at Cornerstone Denver Prep.
Bailey said he was a smart child, and it's painful to accept what has happened.
She asked the community not to judge her family.
"Just lift her up and that's all that you need to do is pray and ask God to move on this situation and let the truth be known, and that God give her strength because he was only 10-years-old," Bailey said.
Yo Gotti's manager Artemis "Peppamouth" Williams confirmed the rapper will pay for Jaheim's funeral. Yo Gotti grew up in Ridgecrest Apartments--which is also where Jaheim lived. Williams said Yo Gotti will pay the funeral home directly for the expenses.