Mother Charged With Murder, Child Abuse In Infant's Death

11:35 PM, Sep 26, 2013   |    comments
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  • Chrystal N. Tanksley (Photo: Davidson Co. Sheriff's Ofc)

LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Lexington Police charged 28-year-old Chrystal Nicole Tanksley with First Degree Murder and Felony Child Abuse in July, but she wasn't taken into custody until Wednesday.

She is accused of murdering her 8-month-old daughter Zakeri Ayanni Mouzon.

A Grand Jury issued a true bill of indictment on July 9, 2013 but the indictment has been sealed.

These charges stem from a July 2012 car accident.

In a court document, a grand jury agreed "the defendant... unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously did of malice aforethought kill and murder Zakeri Ayanni Mouzon."

The document was authorized by Davidson County District Attorney Garry Frank.

The document also reads the defendant "did show reckless disregard for human life by committing a willful act, crashing a motor vehicle that was occupied by" her 8-month-old daughter.

"I was shocked. Sort of... tears even flew," said Tanksley's neighbor Joseph Hopkins.

"I mean they were just flowing from my eyes because like I said, I was just overly stunned that they would charge her like that. And I really think it was an accident."

According to the accident report for July 30, 2012, Tanksley slammed her car into a utility pole on Raleigh Road in Lexington. The reports states she was driving an estimated 55 miles-per-hour.

It also says Tanksley's 8-month-old daughter was in the front seat and not secured in a car seat.

Last July, police said Tanksley was careless and reckless. Now, a grand jury has called her actions intentional.

Hopkins says he doesn't think his neighbor of five-years is capable of murder.

"She's always been a great mother and I know for a fact she would definitely give her life for her kids."

Police said they didn't don't want to jeopardize their case by commenting and the DA was not available for a comment.

Tanskley is being held without bail and several of her court documents were sealed. She has a scheduled court appearance on October 7.

This is a developing story. Stay with WFMY News 2 and for updates. 

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