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Miami Mother Dies After Shooting

June 29, 2002

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MIAMI (AP) _ A mother who police say was shot in the head as her 6-month-old son was kidnapped died Saturday, three days after she was found on the side of a road, hospital officials said.

Ronnie Katrina Holton, 21, accepted a ride home from a pediatric clinic Wednesday with a woman who shot her and took the baby because she wanted one of own, police said.

The boy, Jeremiah Jean-Louis, was found at a Fort Myers home unharmed, police said.

Jennifer Irene Graves, 30, was arrested and charged Wednesday with armed kidnapping and possession of a firearm in commission of felony. She now faces a first-degree murder charge, which carries a possible death sentence.

A Jackson Memorial Hospital spokeswoman said Holton died at 7 a.m. Saturday.

The baby was in the custody of the Department of Children & Families, agency spokesman Miguel Milanes said. He could not reveal whether the child was staying with relatives or foster parents.

The infant’s father, Myrtho Jean-Louis, declined to be interviewed Saturday, saying he did not feel up to talking about what happened.

He and Holton were engaged and lived in an apartment northwest of downtown for the past three years, said Danny Jenkins, a neighbor.

``The man is sad. He’s sick,″ Jenkins said. ``He’s wondering why (the suspect) did it. Why would she do something like that?″

The suspect’s adoptive father, William Graves, said Saturday he and his wife were in shock and could not explain what drove their daughter to allegedly shoot Holton and steal her baby.

``We feel awful about this woman, and now that kid’s got no mother,″ Graves said.

Jennifer Irene Graves was jailed without bond in Lee County, pending a transfer to Miami. Calls to Miami police were not immediately returned Saturday.

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