Justin Tyler Raines
November 13, 2002 - February 16, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial

Tyler Raines was supposedly being home schooled by his father, Tommy "Jack" and step mother Amanda, for two years. Tyler's biological mother and other family members were not allowed to see him at all. The Raines family moved around a lot and had only been in their home a few months when Tyler died. There were other children living in the home and neighbors said that these children were seen going to school and playing around the neighborhood, but Tyler was the only one how was rarely seen by anyone:

"I saw the little boy last Saturday for the first time since they moved here.
He look skinny, he looked very skinny. I really though that he was probably
seven or eight years old. I was really surprised when I found out he was 11
years old"
Mary Sullivan - Neighbor

Family members had been trying to see Tyler, but Tommy and Amanda had always refused:

"His dad and step-mother refused to let anybody in the family see him. In my
opinion, they were obviously trying to keep anyone else from knowing what
was going on with the little boy. It just breaks my heart that none of us did
something sooner"

Rebecca Gaines - Aunt

The remaining children in the home were taken into protective custody.

I do have to wonder WHY it is that nobody in the family is reported to have taken any legal steps to see Tyler. If my son had been held from me for even a week, I would have involved the Police. I don't know why Tyler's mother didn't have custody of him or what her reasons were for not getting the Police or Child Protective Services involved, for not going to a Judge and asking for visitation, but NOTHING would keep me from my child.

Tommy Jack Raines was 37 years old and Amanda Raines was 33 years old when they were arrested and charged with capital murder and felonious child abuse and neglect after Tyler was found dead in the bathroom of their home. Tyler was found weighing only 56 pounds at the age of 11, he had bruises over his entire body, cigarette burns and what appeared to be marks where he had been bound, Prosecutors said it was clear that this child had been tortured:

"I can speak personally. Shock, horror. I don't think anybody who saw that child
will ever be left unaffected"
Assistant District Attorney - Steven Jubera

Tommy and Amanda were each held on $250,000. bail and were facing the death penalty if they were to be found guilty. Investigators said that this was the worst case of child abuse they had ever seen:

"This is one we are keeping close to the vest until we know exactly what happened.
We are waiting on medical examiner reports. The postmortem exam was done
District Attorney - John Champion

Tyler's mother had not seen him for a year and a half, how sad that when she finally got to see him, he was in a mortuary before he was cremated and she said he looked emaciated and she could tell he had been severely abused.

Family and neighbors were having a hard time trying to deal with and figure out how this could have happened to Tyler:

"He was the most precious little boy and he was a joy to everyone who knew him.
There is a hole in our lives that will never be filled. Sweet baby rest with the Angels.
We love you so very much"
Deborah Berry - Grandmother

"Never would we have thought something like this would happen. I can't imagine. I could
never, never imagine doing such a thing to a child. The little boy is in a much better place
and not having to suffer now and that's a wonderful thing"
Mary Sullivan - Neighbor

In September of 2014, a trial date was set for December of 2014, it was reported that it could change because Tommy and Amanda were facing the death penalty and were still being held in the County jail. The couple had court appointed lawyers with the Capital Defense Council which represents defendants who are facing the death penalty.

Tyler's Aunt said that plans to have him cremated were changed because they wanted to leave the option open for his remains to be exhumed if necessary. Tyler was laid to rest in the Freewill Baptist Church Cemetery. Tyler was said to love Superman:

"I remember when he got a Superman suit for Christmas when he was three. He told
me he was a super hero who was going to protect me from the goblin. I just said "Yes
baby, you are a super hero". I remember how he loved Cheetos just like other little kids.
He was a precious gift from God"
Ashley Durfee - Tyler's Biological Mother

"His grandfather and I were there from the moment he was born. He was the special grand-
child I prayed for. He came here full of life and joy and he was the most loving little guy that
ever lived. He was always wanting to know what you were doing and always wanted help.
He followed his Pawpaw and Uncle John everywhere they went with a hammer and nails or
Deborah Berry - Grandmother

At his funeral service the theme from "Superman" played as mourners came to pay their last respects and say good bye to this little Angel. While pallbearers carried his child sized casket from the church, mourners saw that Superman t-shirts had been hung in the windows of the hearse that would carry him to his final resting place. Steve Barners who was the Pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church spoke of the Old Testament and King David who had fasted upon the untimely death of his own child, with Bathsheba. There is a time for tears he said, adding the even Jesus wept. Other songs including "Go Rest High On That Mountain" and "In The Garden" were played and Sheriff's Deputy car were the escort to the family plot where he would be laid to rest.

Disgustingly, Tommy had asked to be present at Tyler's funeral, luckily that request was denied:

"We are not going to put the family through the stress of him being there and we're not
going to put him out there where any of our citizens could be in danger"
Sheriff Bill Raso


Justin Tyler Raines
February 12, 2014
Horn Lake, MS

Justin Tyler Raines, 11 passed away February 6,2014.

The family will receive friends at a catered reception on Friday, February 14, 2014 from 10 am until the time of service at 12 pm at Hernando Funeral Home.

Interment will be the same day at 4 pm in First Freewill Baptist Church Cemetery in Iuka, MS. 

He is survived by his parents, Tommy Raines and Ashley Durfee; grandparents, Jack Raines, Deborah and Herman Berry and Gary Segerson; sisters, Mykayla Thompson, Lexie Raines, Alyssa Durfee, Trinity Raines, Haley Durfee and Amie Raines; brothers Makinze Thompson, J.T. Raines and Willie Raines and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Hernando Funeral Home
662 429-5260

This page was created on November 24, 2014
Death occurred in the state of Mississippi

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