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Posted By Andy Wise
Mother Charged In Drowning Death Of 4-Year-Old

SOUTH MEMPHIS, TN --  Homicide detectives have charged a mother with a history of mental illness in the beating and drowning death of her 4-year-old daughter.

Sherry Sims, 1304 Clementine Apt. 4, is charged with murder in the perpetration of aggravated child abuse.  The Shelby County medical examiner's autopsy report indicates her daughter, Keonnia Pratcher, was beaten and drowned.

Just before 11 AM Monday, Levon Brown, maintenance worker at the Warren Apartments public housing complex at 1300 Clementine, was told by a resident that there was a disturbance outside building 1304.  Brown says he arrived at the building to find Sims on the lawn naked, screaming over and over, "I drowned my baby!  I drowned my baby!" 

"Something told me to go upstairs and see what's wrong with (the little girl)," Brown says.  "So I went upstairs to see what's wrong with her, and I went in inside, the baby was on the inside (unconscious and unresponsive)."

Sims' brother, Morris Sims, says his sister has a history of mental illness and had just been released from a local mental hospital after a 3-month stay.  Family members contradict themselves about which facility treated Sims.

"But the hospital said she was alright, so they let her out about two or three weeks ago," says Morris Sims.  "I asked my mother to be around her, keep a watch on her and stuff, and my mother was doing that."

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