‘I cried because I have children’: Cousin of 14-year-old starvation victim speaks as suspects set to appear in court

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Seven adults charged in 14-year-old Brandon Gray’s death were scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for arraignments.

The boy’s cousin Lashonda Robinson, who said she is related to Brandon on his dad’s side, came to court to witness the proceedings.

“I cried because I have children,” Robinson said when she heard of what happened to her cousin.

She said her uncle, Brandon’s father, died in 2013. Since then, the rest of the family hadn’t been able to find the children.

“We actually have been here since day one until, Dennis [Gray] and Terra [Wells] separated and then she kept the kids from us,” Robinson said.

She shared baby pictures of Brandon. She said the family only found out about the alleged conditions surrounding his death from watching WREG.

“When you guys aired it and said the family has been indicted, and when you guys said Brandon Gray, I was like, ‘Is that my uncle’s son?’” Robinson said.

She said she has two other surviving cousins who were also living in the home.

“We’re here. We just want the children to know we’re here,” Robinson said.

In fact, she met with authorities involved in the case at court and said her family hopes to get custody of the two kids.

As for the suspects, the women did not appear due to a lockdown at the jail.

Melvin Wells entered a not guilty plea and requested help from a public defender.

All of the defendants are due back in court again on June 30.

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