Markea Blakely-Berry
 - June 15, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial

There can be no rationalizing anyone hating a child, even less so, when it's a child you actually gave birth to. Ebony Espree Berry, the 38 year old mother of Markea, hated her daughter, plain and simple and no one could come up with a reason for the hated. Markea had been born with mental disabilities, maybe that was the root of the treatment she received at the hands of her evil mother.

In June of 2013, Larry Stewart received a phone call from his daughter saying that her daughter was unresponsive:

"I got her off the phone. I said, You dial 911. Don't call me. Call me back and let me know
what's going on with the child"
Larry Stewart

Ebony did call 911 but when Police arrived, Markea was already dead. Ebony was arrested and held without bond facing charges of murder and first degree cruelty to children. Ebony's family said that the abuse had started when she had lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan:

"The mother hated her for some reason. We don't know. She punished her daughter. She didn't have to kill my grand baby like that"
Cheryl Gore - Markea's Paternal Grandmother

Markea had always mailed pictures that she drew, to her grandmother, the envelopes never had a return address and that last one she had received was around Thanksgiving and showed a big table full of food along with people holding empty plates.

"Hamhocks, potato salad, she put it all down there. But when it
came to her, it was just a blank face. She didn't get any"

Mark Blakely, Markea's father, wondered why Child Protective Services had not stepped in while Ebony had lived in Grand Rapids:

"She ran to do wrong. Nobody helped, nobody tried to stop her. They system knew that she
wasn't wrapped all the way tight. It's like mind blowing to me. I can't even understand it.
How could anybody do that to somebody? You wouldn't even do your worst enemy
that way"

In Michigan, CPS had been to the home several times and claims to only have found substantiated abuse on one occasion. Relatives said that on Ebony's Facebook page, she was a member of a group that encouraged hunger. Apparently there is some kind of "cult" that practices hunger and says that it's wonderful. Dr. Andrew Chung is a cardiologist who went to Emory Medical School and had a strong following as someone who mixed scripture with medical information. Dr. Chung told his "followers" that they should eat no more than two pounds of food every day, that amount is less than half of what a person usually eats in a day.

Ebony was friends with Dr. Chung who has 5,300 friends on Facebook and had published a book about being hungry. Online videos show this man saying things like "I'm wonderfully hungry. How about you" and telling people that being hungry is "wonderful" where as not being hungry is terrible. Dr. Chung said that food tastes so much better when we're ten times hungrier and that is wonderful. Dr. Chung is not willing to accept any blame for what happened to Markea:

"The only thing that can straighten this out, is that police hear from Ms. Berry herself. She's
an ordinary, single mom who's stressed out"

She's WAY less than ordinary, Dr. and I use that term LIGHTLY. Ordinary, stressed out, single mothers do not starve their children to death because some wacko on Facebook, a useless "Dr." tells them being hungry is wonderful!

In 2010 there was a time when Ebony had lived in Georgia and Markea ran away from home and was caught stealing food at a local Walmart where she also slept quite often because she said she felt like a burden to her mother. Neighbors said that they had never seen any of the children going to school. Markea was 16 years old and only weighed 40 pounds.

A CPS case was opened but "fizzled" when CPS workers said that Ebony would not cooperate and was what they called combative. REALLY? Fizzled be EBONY wouldn't cooperate? Sorry, that is no excuse, EBONY should have been arrested and her children taken away. You don't let children stay in an abusive situation because their parent is hard to deal with:

"DFCS case mangers had contact with the family in 2010 and could see that the girl was in need
of a doctor and instructed the mother to take the girl to see a doctor. The case was closed without
any follow-up from DFCS to see if the child was seen by a doctor"
DFCS Spokesperson - in a letter

The president of the Georgia Alliance For Children called Markea's death tragic but said that he was not surprised:

"Back in February, we saw statistics that more kids are dying in DFCS custody. Every time
something like this happens, they promise to make changes, but children keep dying. Some-
one needs to be held accountable. This is an agency that is supposed to protect children who
are stuck in bad situations. Someone failed to do their job. Someone needs to be indicted or
at the very least, be fired"
Rick McDevitt

After she died, details came out about how Markea was the only child in the home to be abused and neglected. At night, Markea would be locked in to her room with a urinal and pee pads. Ebony said she did this to keep people out of her daughters room. Caseworkers in Georgia told about a time when one child had wet the bed and was put into a freezing tub of water. Ebony had actually told Police that she moved from Michigan because people kept calling DFCS to make complaints about her.

Ebony Berry's family was not there for her May 2013 arraignment and neither was Ebony. A not guilty plea was entered by her Lawyer, Rick Kimberly, who also filed a motion for a psychological evaluation. The Cobb County Grand Jury indicted Ebony on murder charges saying that she failed to provide adequate nutrition and medical care for Markea.
Ebony was at that time, being held on $75,000. bond.

Today is July 3, 2014 and I am unable to find any information about Ebony having been convicted or sentenced for what she did to this little Angel.

UPDATE: December 8, 2014 (Thank you to Eryn for this update)

In September of 2014, Ebony Berry, facing one count of involuntary manslaughter, one count of first degree cruelty to children and one count of second degree cruelty to children, entered a plea of guilty. Ebony said in court:

"I just want to apologize for everybody have to come out today for my situation and
my circumstances involving my daughter"

Prosecutors had dropped the murder charge against her because they felt she did not kill Markea on purpose. A Defense Lawyer had said that Ebony had become overwhelmed raising four children, including one newborn so she was unable to give Markea the care she needed to survive.

I'm sorry Prosecutors, a child suffered and died because this woman had no business having children in the first place. She didn't MEAN to kill Markea? Give me a break, can ANYONE use that excuse after killing a child, or anyone else for that matter? I didn't mean to kill "him/her" should NEVER be a reason to keep someone out of prison for life after they abuse a child to death. Oh and, I'm sorry, Defense Lawyers, raising four children, including a new born, CAN be and in this case SHOULD have been prevented by NOT GIVING BIRTH TO THEM!

Ebony was sentenced to 30 years in prison and then after her release she would be on ten years of probation, will have to go to therapy for mental evaluations and she will not be able to have contact with any children.  Ebony's Aunt is now raising her remaining three children.

Death occurred in the state of North Carolina
This page was created on July 3, 2014

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