According to police in Atlanta, Georgia, 21-year-old Titayanna Phillips intentionally caused a car accident in July that resulted in the death of her three-month-old son, Khy’undra Henderson.
The accident occurred around 7:00 PM on Monday, July 27, 2020 at the intersection of Eason Street and Chappell Road in northwest Atlanta. Authorities said that 27-year-old Undra Henderson of Decatur had just picked up the former couple’s son at Titayanna’s house on Eason Street. While he was stopped at a stop sign, police said, Titayanna deliberately rammed her SUV into Undra’s small Honda sedan. When the Honda skidded across the road and ended up against a pole, Titayanna reportedly rammed the car several more times.
(Note: Nearly every news report I found on this story referred to Khy’undra as the estranged couple’s daughter. However, the baby’s father refers to Khy’undra as “king” on his Facebook page, and in a GoFundMe campaign he created, he specifically refers to the baby as “my son,” so I’m going with that.)
Residents in the neighborhood heard the accident and rushed to help. Taranjela Jones, who lived nearby, said to a reporter, “We were in the house when we heard a boom. We saw her, the car was turned up sideways up against the tree, and she was ramming her car into the side of the car.”
Taranjela said, “She was screaming, ‘I told him that I would kill him.’ And she said, ‘Can y’all get my baby out of the car?’ She was screaming, ‘That’s my baby in the back seat.’”
Bystanders flocked to Undra’s smashed vehicle to help him and the baby. “Everyone tried to get the people out of the car, because the car started smoking,” Taranjela said.
Police and firefighters arrived shortly after the accident and employed the Jaws of Life to pry open the vehicle and extract Undra and Khy’undra, both of whom were injured in the attack.
Three-month-old Khy’undra was taken to the hospital in critical condition; tragically, he did not survive.
Titayanna Phillips was arrested at the scene and booked into the Fulton County jail, where she is currently being held. She has been charged with felony murder and two counts of aggravated assault. In court on Wednesday, July 29, bond was denied.
Atlanta police later released a previous report from a July 24 incident, which stated that Titayanna suffers from “numerous mental and physical health issues that remain unresolved and does not have legal custody of the child.” It also mentioned that she had an open case with the Division of Family and Children’s Services. During the July 24 incident, Titayanna accompanied Undra to a doctor’s appointment for the baby. At some point during the appointment, she took the baby out of the exam room without permission, got into a waiting car with him, and left the doctor’s office on York Avenue. Police eventually talked her into returning Khy’undra to his father.
The report said, “After numerous back and forth phone calls and vague threats Ms. Phillips finally brought the child Khy-Undra Phillips back to the location unharmed.” Because Titayanna threatened to harm herself, she was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital after that incident,
In June, Titayanna was arrested for disorderly conduct when police responded to a domestic dispute call at her home. At that time, Undra told police that Titayanna attacked him during an argument on the stairwell, forcing him to jump off the staircase.
Tom Rawlings, DCFS director, said, “In June, we received a report on the family that there were mental health concerns with the mother, and that’s when we intervened and made sure the father is taking care of the child… We were continuing to follow and continuing to work with both parents certainly to make sure she was getting the mental health treatment.”
He added, “The father did have the child with him and probably could not foresee the mother would fall into such crisis and drive her car into them.”
People in the comments sections of various articles have posited their theories of Titayanna’s motive, but in my opinion, she probably didn’t have one; she was likely in a blind rage pointed directly at her ex-boyfriend, for whatever reason, and she let her emotions dictate her actions to the most tragic possible conclusion.
The day after the accident, Undra posted an article about the crash on Facebook along with the caption: “Um blessed to be alive but without khy’undra this shit don’t even matter.”
An investigation by Atlanta Police Homicide detectives is ongoing.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, most of Khy’undra’s family didn’t even have the chance to meet him except through Facetime. It’s almost too awful and sad to consider.
Undra posted the video below as an update on the GoFundMe campaign page. While Khy’undra has already been laid to rest, Undra said on Facebook that any additional funds raised will go toward the baby’s headstone or be set aside for his siblings.
Click here for my ongoing coverage of Khy’undra’s story.
Sources: WSBTV 2, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, PEOPLE, Facebook, GoFundMe, Fulton County Jail records, 11Alive