Jury selection begins for woman accused of pouring hot grease, oil on 10-year-old

Jury selection is now underway for a woman accused of pouring hot grease on a 10-year-old girl.

Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Ashli Lincoln talked to the child’s mother, who said justice has taken way too long.

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Shamara Mayes was visiting family in Clayton County for the summer four years ago when a relative, Miracle Mateen, burned her with hot grease. Mayes suffered third- and fourth-degree burns.

Prosecutors argued that Mateen intended to cause harm to Mayes when she poured hot oil and grease on her. Mateen was 18 years old at the time.

Mateen was charged with cruelty to children in the first degree and aggravated assault and battery.

Mayes’ mother, Stephanie said her daughter was close to dying and has since had to have multiple surgeries.

“Every day, she has to keep looking herself in the mirror because she thinks she’s ugly,” she said. “But she’s not ugly to me, because God gave her a second chance at life. I thank god for allowing her to be here with me.”

Stephanie Mayes lives in Mississippi and sent her daughter to spend time with family in Georgia. She said that she could never have imagined that her then 18-year-old niece would intentionally hurt her daughter.

Over the course of three years, Mateen has had at least five public defenders added and removed from the case.

“At the end of the day, the courts should never have to keep making my daughter relieve the same thing over and over again,” Stephanie Mayes said. “Somebody got to pay justice for what happened.”

Stephanie Mayes said the defense is arguing that the burns were self-inflicted, but she does not agree with that allegation.

“I want the jury to know that my daughter did not harm herself,” she said. “I hate that I wasn’t there to protect her.”