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Murder charge dismissed in case of Athens baby allegedly exposed to fentanyl


Pamela Renee Graves

By Joe Johnson

Murder and drug charges this week were dismissed in the case of a babysitter who allegedly caused the death of a baby in Athens by exposing her to fentanyl.

Western Judicial District District Attorney requested the dismissal because she did not believe there was sufficient evidence to convict the defendant, 60-year-old Pamela Renee Graves of Elberton.

“Although there was probable cause to arrest the defendant..., after receipt and review of the medical records in this case, including the final cause of death, the (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) report, and the final autopsy report, State elects not to proceed with this case, as it cannot prove these beyond a reasonable doubt at trial,” Gonzalez stated in her motion to dismiss, filed Wednesday in Clarke County Superior Court.

Graves was arrested by Athens-Clarke County police in June 2022, after a children's hospital alerted them that a 15-month-old girl in its care was receiving treatment for having tested positive for exposure to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 10 times stronger than morphine, opiates, and benzodiazepine; the child died later that day, police said.

According to police, Zamiya Kelly had become ill while Graves babysat her at the child’s home on Oak Hill Drive, and she was taken to a local hospital before being transferred to Children's Hospital of Georgia in Augusta.

Graves was arrested June 27 on charges of felony murder and possession of a Schedule II controlled substance.

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