Grandmother Arrested for Murder in Walker County Infant Death

January 18, 2016

La Fayette, Georgia – On Friday January 15, 2016 the Walker County Sheriff Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) arrested Barbara Michelle Pemberton, 47, for the murder of her 13 month old grandson, Shadoe Braxton Pate. Pemberton left the infant unattended, strapped in his car seat, with the car running for more than five hours while she was reportedly visiting with friends this past Tuesday, January 12th. 

The GBI’s Calhoun Regional Office was called by the Walker County Sheriff’s Office on January 12th to assist in the investigation. Pemberton was reportedly caring for her grandson when she drove to her friend’s residence at around 10:00 AM that morning. Pemberton left the car running with the heat on as the infant was asleep inside the car. About five hours later, Pemberton checked on the child and found him unresponsive. EMS was dispatched to the scene and transported the infant to Hutcheson Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The infant was sent to the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office in Decatur for an autopsy on Thursday. The preliminary results released from the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office revealed that 13 month old died as a result of hyperthermia.

Pemberton was booked into the Walker County Jail for 2nd degree murder and 2nd degree cruelty to children.  Pemberton’s bond is set at $100,000.00.


Contact: Greg Ramey – Special Agent in Charge 706-624-1424 or 404-473-5136