Brandon Gray, age 14, was starved to death by his mother, Terra Wells, and several other family members. Brandon’s 12-year-old sister K. was also starved and physically abused. The other eight children in the home were not reported to be abused. All ten children were homeschooled.
Brandon lived with three generations of his family: his grandmother Yvette Charleston, his mother Terra Wells, his uncle and aunts (Melvin Wells, Tamera Dishmon, Tessa Dishmon, Amanda Dishmon, Tabitha Sharp, and Breanna Wells), K. and three other siblings, and 5 cousins. In 2015 when Brandon was 9, he was accused of abusing one of the other children in the home; police investigated but the outcome of the investigation is unknown. Following this incident, Brandon was forced to live locked in a closet in the unheated garage with a mattress, portable toilet, and bleach jug for a urinal. He was fed a bran/corn mixture and V8 and at the time of his death weighed only 60 lbs. At some point K. was also forced to sleep in the garage while the rest of the children slept in beds in bedrooms inside the house. When she was rescued K. was malnourished and had patterned bruising on her body.
The abuse came to light in January 2020 when one of Brandon’s family members called 911 to report he was unresponsive and refused to administer CPR. Wells and her siblings were charged with murder, child abuse, and child neglect; Charleston died before she could be indicted.
Date: January 7, 2020
Location: Bartlett, Tennessee