Suspect in deaths of kids in Fla. canal in court

AP News
Posted: Mar 18, 2011 11:39 AM
Suspect in deaths of kids in Fla. canal in court

The grandmother of the man police call their only suspect in the deaths of two children found in a South Florida canal said Friday she does not believe he could have committed the crime.

Doris Haynes got a warm smile and enthusiastic wave from Clem Beauchamp, 34, during his brief court appearance on federal gun charges unrelated to the children's deaths.

Outside court, she defended her grandson and the role he played in the lives of his ex-girlfriend's children, who were found earlier this month stuffed in luggage and tossed in a Delray Beach canal.

"Clem took very good care of them," Haynes said. "I just can't imagine that he could have killed them."

Beauchamp has not been charged in the deaths of 10-year-old Jermaine McNeil and 6-year-old Ju'tyra Allen, but police say he is their only suspect. They also believe he was involved in the death of the children's mother, 25-year-old Felicia Brown, whose body was found in a landfill last August.

In Beauchamp's minutes-long court appearance Friday, he told the judge he still had not secured an attorney to represent him, a week after the court refused to appoint a public defender. A status hearing was set for April 4.