Haywood man pleads guilty to first degree murder of baby after persistent abuse

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August 26 – The Haywood County man responsible for the murder of 10-year-old Chloe Evans, who was brutally and persistently assaulted before her death, was jailed for life on Friday without parole.

Dylan Green, who was 22 at the time of Chloe’s murder in 2019, pleaded guilty to first degree murder and accepted the life sentence in exchange for dropping the death penalty case against him. Green, the live-in boyfriend of Chloe’s mother, Channing Evans, looked after the baby while Evans was at work.

Kimberly Freeman, Chloe’s paternal grandmother who was never allowed to see Chloe during her short time on this Earth, backed Green to get life in prison.

“I didn’t want him to die, because it would be over for him, and we have to live with it — every day, for the rest of our lives,” Freeman said tearfully after the hearing. “He should also live with it and suffer for what he did.”

Being on death row would have protected Green from the general prison population in a separate confinement room, a comfort he doesn’t deserve, Freeman said, nor does he deserve the comfort of a painless death.

“Chloe didn’t have such an easy death, so why should he?” said Freemans.

The wishes of the victim’s family count toward prosecutors in deciding whether to accept a plea.

“It was a difficult decision to accept a plea deal,” prosecutor Ashley Hornsby Welch said. “This was an innocent child who was cruelly and senselessly murdered at the beginning of her life.”

Horrible life of abuse

Friday morning’s court hearing was both emotional and heartbreaking. Green’s family stood behind him on the couch, crying and praying during the hearing.

Meanwhile, Freeman, two of her sons and two close friends sat across the courtroom, trying to suppress their sobs as prosecutor Jeff Jones talked about the brutality Chloe had endured.

After Chloe was rushed to Haywood Regional Medical Center by paramedics on the day of her death, medical examinations revealed signs of continued abuse that covered her entire body — including a human bite, strangulation mark, cigarette burns, multiple skull fractures, multiple fractures. to her arms and legs and broken ribs.

“Chloe’s injuries were consistent with acute and chronic physical abuse,” Jones said. “In addition to four recently broken ribs, she had eight different rib fractures during the healing process and five different rib fractures that had already healed. The child was covered with scrapes and bruises at various stages of healing, indicating ongoing abuse.”

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The same was true for leg, arm and skull fractures.

Despite the horrific injuries, according to the autopsy, strangulation by ligature was ultimately the cause of her death.

When detectives executed a search warrant at the Jonathan Creek home where Chloe lived, they found a white paracord rope with red spots on the side of the bed where Green slept. There were also red spots on Chloe’s crib, on her stuffed animal, and on a toddler’s polka dot shirt.

“The red spot on the paracord was positive for blood and it was a TSWT match for Chloe Evans,” Jones said. “It was also her blood on the stuffed animal and the polka-dot toddler T-shirt.”

find strength

A toxicology report later found that Chloe had meth and alcohol in her system when she died.

Tragically, that brings some comfort to Freeman when she thinks about what Chloe went through.

“Maybe she was so drunk she didn’t feel the pain,” Freeman said. “It’s terrible, you have to hope for that.”

Freeman had no idea what Chloe was being subjected to.

“They never let me see her, and now I know why,” Freeman said. “All the time they did this to her. They knew if I saw her, I’d see what happened and end it,” Freeman said. ‘But grandparents have no rights. I couldn’t do anything.’

Chloe’s biological father and Freeman’s son, Caleb Clark, were largely out of the picture and have only seen Chloe a handful of times, Freeman said. Only once did mother Channing Evans Freeman send a photo of Chloe.

“She told me I would never see my granddaughter, and a month later she was dead,” Freeman said. “That’s the only photo I ever got.”

Freeman is currently raising her granddaughter Madison, Chloe’s half sister. The three years since Chloe’s death have clearly been difficult for Madison, a fifth-grader from North Canton Elementary.

“She cries sometimes because she never met her sister. She saw me cry one day and said, ‘Mamaw, I’m in pain too,'” Freeman said. “She doesn’t understand, and I don’t understand either. So I can’t explain to her how there is so much evil in the world.’

By raising Madison, Freeman helps fight despair and move on.

“She’s a strong girl and keeps me strong. I kept going because I owe it to her,” Freeman said. “She lost her sister, she was taken away from her mother and father because of drugs. She has lost everything because of drugs. But she will not lose me. I have let her know that nothing will get to me like that.”

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Chloe isn’t the only grandchild Freeman has lost. Aurora, the first child of Channing Evans and the son of Freeman, also died as a baby. She was in Evan’s care when she died, but the cause of death was never determined.

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fighting for her life

That fateful day in July 2019, Evans left Chloe in Green’s care while she went to work. They lived under the same roof as Evans’ parents, Shannon and Dawn Evans, in the Jonathan Creek community.

Shannon and Dawn weren’t home the day Chloe was with Green.

Around 4:30 p.m., Green contacted Evans at work and told her Chloe wasn’t breathing. He claimed that Chloe had fallen out of her crib – which later turned out to be far from the case.

Evans called 911 and left work to go home. Meanwhile, Chloe’s grandmother, Dawn, had also come home and called 911.

Dawn attempted to resuscitate Chloe when law enforcement and paramedics arrived.

When Chloe was rushed to Haywood Regional Medical Center, her heart was still beating weakly, but she was cold to the touch and unresponsive—a condition she remained in for another four hours.

“The child still had a heartbeat and was breathing, but was essentially brain dead,” Jones said.

Finally, Chloe was taken off the ventilator.

“It was clear she wasn’t going to make it,” Jones said.

An autopsy later revealed the extent of the injuries Chloe suffered.

“The coroner confirmed multiple skull fractures, brain swelling, bleeding in the eyes and abdominal bleeding. There were bruises and bruises all over her body,” Jones said. “The examiner said these were the worst injuries she’d seen a child sustain in all her years.”

Chloe’s mother, Channing Evans, was also charged in connection with Chloe’s death. She pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and child abuse for leaving Chloe in Green’s care and is serving seven years in prison. It’s not nearly enough for Freeman, who is sure Evans needed to be aware of the ongoing abuse based on Chloe’s injuries over time.

Since then, both Green and Evans have been found to be drug users of meth, according to court records. Chloe’s biological father, Caleb, was also a drug user and was only allowed to see Chloe a few times, Freeman said.

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Freeman can’t fathom how Shannon and Dawn Evans – the maternal grandparents with whom Green, Evans and Chloe all lived – failed to see what was happening.

“Everyone close to Chloe is responsible,” said Freeman’s son and Chloe’s uncle, Cole.

Shannon and Dawn Evans came to the trial on Friday and sat in the front row on the prosecution’s side. They declined to comment on this article, claiming that “everything reported in The Mountaineer is wrong”. They didn’t address what was wrong. Articles are all based on law enforcement and court records.

Under lock and key

Green was represented by court-appointed attorneys Joshua Neilson and Mark Melrose, both of Waynesville. Green did not speak in court, but his lawyers commented on his behalf.

“This is clearly an extremely emotional matter and situation for all the families involved,” Neilson said. “We are very sorry and regret that we are here today under these circumstances.”

Freeman’s son, Cole, said Green should have apologized more for what he did.

“Should have been him apologizing in court,” Cole said.

Judge Bill Coward asked Green a litany of questions to ensure he had the mental ability to understand what he was agreeing to when he pleaded guilty and accepted the life sentence.

“The state will no longer require the imposition of the death penalty and the parties agree that the defendant will receive an active life sentence without parole. Do you personally accept this settlement?” said coward.

If the case went to trial, Green’s lawyers planned to argue that he was mentally retarded and thus ineligible for the death penalty. It was revealed in court that his IQ was between 60 and 70.

“Had the case reached the death penalty stage, the jurors would have been asked questions about his intellectual abilities,” the prosecutor’s office said. That was another factor that led prosecutors to accept the plea deal.

Green’s lawyers had already made a plea offer this summer, but it was rejected by the prosecutors. The terms of the rejected plea are unknown as it has been sealed by the court.

Prior to the final sentencing, Jones told the court how tragic the case was

“It’s devastating for Ms. Freeman and it’s something she’ll never really recover from,” Jones said.

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