June 20, 2019

Parents charged with murder in death of infant son

(Franklin, GA) — The parents of a six-week-old baby that died unexpectedly on August 6, 2013 are in the Heard County jail tonight facing serious charges related to the infant’s death.

According to a press release issued this afternoon by Franklin Police Chief Kevin Hannah, the father, 26-year-old Jacob Mitchell Ward, and the mother, 22-year-old Amanda Lynn Ward were arrested on Monday, October 21st, after a joint investigation was conducted by the Franklin Police Department and Georgia Bureau of Investigation, into the death of the 41-day-old child, Jackson Robert Lee Ward.

During the afternoon hours on August 6th, the Heard County Emergency Services and Franklin Police Department were dispatched to a residence at the Heard Mobile Home Park located at 688 Franklin Parkway, regarding an infant that was not breathing. Earlier reports indicated that the father, Jacob Ward, made the call to 911.

Upon their arrival, Jackson Robert Lee Ward was found unconscious and immediately rushed to West Georgia Medical Center, while emergency medical personnel attempted to resuscitate the infant.

Procedures continued after arriving at the hospital, but were unsuccessful. The baby was pronounced dead by Dr. Chris Morgan at 4:00 p.m.

Jacob Mitchell Ward (L) and Amanda Lynn Ward (R) are charged with Murder in the death of their infant son on August 6, 2013

Jacob Mitchell Ward (L) and Amanda Lynn Ward (R) are each charged with Murder in the death of their infant son on August 6, 2013

The Franklin Police Department and Heard County Coroner’s Office were notified and responded to the West Georgia Medical Center, where they began an investigation into the cause of death.

The deceased infant was transported to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy to be performed.

“Due to the many unanswered questions surrounding the infant’s death, the Franklin Police Department requested the assistance of the GBI and a joint investigation ensued,” said Chief Hannah.

A preliminary finding by the Medical Examiner’s Office determined an unnatural cause of death including blunt force trauma. This report, coupled with other evidence gathered, led to Monday’s arrests.

The press release states a Superior Court Judge signed arrest warrants for Jacob Mitchell Ward and Amanda Lynn Ward on Wednesday, October 16.

The arrest report indicates the couple now resides in Fayetteville, Georgia. Each parent is charged with one count of Murder and one count of Cruelty To Children.

Sarah Japour of the Heard County District Attorney’s office declined to comment on details of the case which is still under investigation. “I have been prosecuting in Heard County for 12 years and I have not worked a murder during that time,” said Japour, “We have been a very blessed community in that regard.”

According to Japour, bond cannot be set in the case until at least November 5, when the Superior Court Judge will be presiding. The earliest that indictments could be handed down would be in December when the next Heard County grand jury is called.

Amanda Ward posted the following on her public facebook page last Friday: “RIP Little Man I love you gone but never forgotten. PROUD MOMMY OF THE BEST BABY EVER.”

Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for updates on this case as they become available.



  1. Elizabeth Harris says

    2 Sick People !!!!!!!!!!!

  2. woooo i wish i could be their executioner they would suffer badly

  3. They will not get hardly any time out of it they probably want even be charged with murder my son was killed at five months old and the perp only got thirty years 10 for crulty to children and 29 for involuntary man slaughter

  4. Anice Ward says

    For those who know Jacob and Amanda know what nurturing, wonderful parents they were to Jackson. Neither of them are capable of what they are being accused of. They are a young couple bettering themselves daily and have not been allowed even the consideration of mourning the loss of their son.

    • I agree 100% Anice! I cant wrap my mind around this. Jake and Amanda are the sweetest people in the world! Really great parents & friends!

    • I also agree with Anice and Jennifer! Jake and Amanda are wonderful people, The other people on here posting how sick they are should be ashamed! They have no idea what loving couple they are. Terrible how the system is working against grieving parents who were do happy to have baby Jackson in their lives.

    • Is this the same Amanda L Ward from Porter Texas

  5. horrible!!! …how could anyone do something like this to a baby??!! sick couple!!

    • John T. Hancock says

      Crazy how people pass judgement at the drop of a hat. Yes they were arrested does that mean they are guilty no!!! Yes it would take sick people to do that but is that what happened? I was at the candle light service for the baby and i seen the hurt in the parents eyes and there is no way they wanted that baby hurt you cant fake pain like that. God bless them and may the truth set them free

  6. Joann Paschal says

    I know neither of these people ;but i must say I thought in this country we were innocent until proven guilty ;if they are found guilty i hope they get the maximum sentence ;i pray the justice system will do it’s job correctly

  7. Roberta Duncan says

    I totally agree with Joann, but on the other hand, if they are found innocent folks we have to accept that verdict as well. Just don’t pass judgment until the evidence is presented and the verdict is read. At this point they may be in jail, but they are still grieving parents.

  8. Anice Ward, (Jacob's Step-Mother/Amanda's Mother-in Law) says

    You would then be torturing and executing two innocent people,Mr.Duncan. Jacob and Amanda Did Not do this! I’ve witnessed first hand what nurturing, wonderful parents they are. Have You?
    Please think before you speak…

  9. Alexandra Goerke (An adoring, long time friend) says

    It is sad what kind of shoddy reporting goes on in America these days! I have witnessed first hand this young mans kindness towards children. He has been around my own daughter, any many of my friends children multiple times! He is a loving and devoted parent. But none of that matters to you all, so let me give you some facts. They we’re brought in under evidence that has still not been revealed. They have been separated in the jail system, and put under imminent danger because of the charges they have been given. I would hope that if some horrible thing had happened to one of your children that you would be given time to heal. When they are found innocent, they will need months/ years of therapy and will still never feel as if justice was rightfully served. People are so quick to judge when they don’t think about how easily something like this could happen to them! One day your child is in need of medical attention, the next you don’t have them in your life anymore, questions go unanswered and you’re as confused as everyone else, and then your in jail! Sick isn’t it, to think that maybe the department just wanted someone to pin it on, and didn’t do their jobs properly.

  10. We are looking into this.

    • This could very well be a case of SIDS. sudden infant death syndrome. With the way the laws have become in Ga I see alot of people not only loosing their kids over bull**** but also being accused of things they simply did not do. Are they able to get a 2nd opinion by a Pediatrician?

      • Alexandra Goerke (An adoring, long time friend) says

        It has been undermined whether or not I will be able to get in contact with the pediatrician. As far as we know thus far the child never missed an appointment, nor the mother a single prenatal OBGYN appt.

        • Anice Ward (Step-Mother/Mother-in-law) says

          Not only did Amanda NEVER miss regular prenatal OBGYN appt., she also met every specialist appointment regarding her sugar levels during her pregnancy and kept a detailed record of sugar levels and daily diet which she monitored very closely in Jackson’s best interest. Jacob used his vacation time and together they tried to schedule all prenatal and specialist visits around his work because he wanted to be there, too. I have never witnessed a better parent “team” when it came to Jackson’s welfare from his conception!

  11. Blunt force trauma is not “SIDS”. The GBI does not arrest two people and charge them with murder lightly. They conducted a thorough autopsy and spent weeks gathering evidence and recording testimony. There is no way a 41 day old baby just accidentally received enough force to his head to kill him, with both parents unsure of how. These are disgusting criminals, and I hope they spend the rest of their youth in an institution where they belong!

    • Alexandra Goerke (An adoring, long time friend) says

      You are right Kristie, SIDS is not blunt force trauma! They are two separate and innate things that can occur at the same time though (and often do in). Also, yes there are many ways in which a baby can accidentally receive head trauma! And a lot of times the parents truly do not know how it has happened. Much with a small innocent bump or bruise. So I have a question for you. Did you personally do the autopsy or work with the GBI on this case? Because if so we have a whole lot of unanswered questions for you. If not than you have no idea how much time or effort they put into this case and would be better off not passing judgement on those you do not know the heart of!

      • The heart of these people is well known to me and has been for several years now. They’re trash. Nasty trailer trash who have no business being parents. The fact that you are defending them appalls me. You should be furious with them for what they did to this innocent child!

        • Jennifer H. says

          does calling people nasty trailer trash make you feel good about yourself? Why does where they live have anything to do with the measure of their heart? and who are you to say that they have no business being parents? God gave them that child because he knew how much love he would be given even if it was for only 41 days and regardless of if Jackson died of SIDS or blunt force trauma he was not brutally murdered and that is the only thing that matters. maybe you should take a look at whats inside your own heart Kristie Baeumert…

          • Anice Ward says

            Also in response to Kristie Baeumert: you by know “know the heart of “these people”, in fact you don’t KNOW them at all. Jacob is a NA sponser, clean and sober for over 5 years. He works hard and continually seeks out ways to be and do better himself and his family. Very spiritual. Amanda,(also clean and sober for many years at the ripe old age of 23) has a heart of gold, in fact. Working and helping her neighbors in her community any way she can. As I had posted earlier,For those who know Jacob and Amanda know what nurturing, wonderful parents they were to Jackson. Neither of them are capable of what they are being accused of. They are a young couple bettering themselves daily and have not been allowed even the consideration of mourning the loss of their son. Kristie, It sounds to me as you possibly are a person of priveledge. Maybe you should consider not taking that for granted and counting your blessings instead of spewing hatred about something you evidently know nothing of. What you are saying shows a considerable level of ignorance. I will pray for you and hope nothing this horrificly unjust ever happens to you.

    • Gary McConnell says

      So true!

  12. Anice Ward says

    Jacob Ward’s 10/4/2013 heart wrenching post on FaceBook : “I am going to talk about something that has been hard for me. I haven’t wanted to put myself out there like that with everyone. It isnt that i dont miss him. I just have a hard time talking about it. This is the only post i’m going to make about this. Little Jackson Robert Lee Ward I miss you son and i’ll always miss you. I love you with my whole heart and there are people out there that seem to b…elieve differently but they will never know my heart like you do. Son you will always live on in my heart and i will never forget your cute little faces and your angry faces when you had hickups. I love you jackson and i want you to know that i am honoring you with a true change of heart and mind and growing my spiritually and learning how to truly live life and enjoy it to the fullest. Regardless of certain misconceptions and those that would love to see me go down for something that they have made up in their minds. Thats ok though i just hope for them that nothing like this ever happens to them. Anyways i love you and will see you again one day however that works. Love, Your daddy”

  13. It’s ideal to see them as innocent until proven guilty by a jury of their peers in a court of law, but when an innocent child has been harmed it truely makes it much harder to pass an unbiased judgment….perhaps we should all step back and remember that only the parents of this boy truely know what happened in that trailer. Forensic science and autopsy can only tell one part of the story….maybe it was an accident…?

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