Biloxi couple charged with capital murder in death of 2-year-old

Child Abuse Case

Joseph Heard, left, and Hailey Heard

A Biloxi couple has been charged in the death of a 2-year-old boy in Biloxi.

Joseph Heard, 38 and Hailey Heard, 21, are charged with capital murder with the underlying charge of felony child abuse, according to Matthew Burrell with the District Attorney’s Office.

Biloxi police Capt. Milton Houseman confirmed to our media partner, the Sun Herald that the Heards are the mother and stepfather of the victim.

Gulfport Police located and arrested the couple on Wednesday after Harrison County Justice Court Judge Nick Patano issued the felony child abuse warrants, according to a press release from Biloxi. The charges were upgraded to capital murder today.

They were booked into the Harrison County jail on Wednesday and are awaiting an initial court appearance, which has not yet been set.

Both parents are jailed under no bond.

The charges stem from an incident December 27, when a woman called 911 and said her son was unresponsive.

First responders arrived at the home on St. Mary Boulevard in Biloxi and took the child to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

This is a developing story and WXXV will update this report as details become available.

Categories: Crime, Featured, Harrison County, Local News, News