Father Of Murdered Briggs Children Questions DCS Decisions

(Memphis) WREG has learned new information about the deaths of Nicholas and Jeremiah Briggs.

Their own mother, Jamina Briggs, admitted to stabbing them.

Briggs has a court hearing in early 2014. She was indicted last month for murder.

Meanwhile, the On Your Side Investigators have uncovered new details about the Department of Children’s Services involvement.

We also spoke with a grieving father, struggling with guilt of his own.

“They were just here, running, playing. I let them swim, took Jeremiah shopping,” Darius Goliday said of what would be the last time he saw his children, Nicholas and Jeremiah, alive.

Goliday was hundreds of miles away, headed to a landscaping job when he got a call from his mother.

He told WREG, “Ended up coming back to bury my kids.”

Goliday says the last few months have been hard.

There’s the funeral program he rarely opens, t-shirts with the kids’ pictures and the words “Rest in Peace.”

Goliday’s brother even has a tattoo on his neck that reads “Nick and Jeremiah, memories will comfort ’till we meet again.”

It’s the memories Goliday says he struggles with the most.

“You think of the laughing, you think of the smiling, the running and playing.  Then you turn around and have to think of the torture,” Goliday said.

Briggs told police voices told her to stab her two boys.

“She heard voices telling her she got AIDS and her kids got AIDS and that, she was like, she don’t know, and it was telling her she didn’t want them to suffer, so she just took their life,” Goliday explained of what he’s heard.

Goliday said Briggs expressed similar problems during their relationship, but got treatment and took care of her kids when they were with her.

“I couldn’t even imagine her doing nothing like that, you know what I’m saying, she loved them too much.”

Still, Goliday questions how Briggs wound up with both her boys the night of the murder.

How did a woman with documented mental health problems and previous cases with the Department of Children’s Services slip through the cracks?

The On Your Side Investigators obtained Juvenile Court documents showing DCS got custody of Nicholas when he was 3-months-old.

The court made the recommendation after Briggs’ odd behavior during a custody hearing about her daughter in early 2007.

A day later, temporary custody went to Goliday’s mom.

However, later that year, the court granted custody of Nicholas to Briggs’ mother.

“My momma sat up for days, just like, why did they do that,” Goliday said.

Jeremiah was born in September of 2011, a child DCS didn’t know about and wasn’t involved with.

Briggs tried more than once to get Nicholas back, but the court left him with his maternal grandmother.

Goliday said he met recently with officials from DCS, but left with even more questions and concerns about its previous investigations and the court’s decisions.

“You should have known that from the beginning and you may have left my son where he should have been.”

Goliday says during the weeks leading up to their deaths, the boys were back and forth between their mom and grandmother, due to some daycare issues.

I said to him, “There might be people who say, ‘But wait Darius, why weren’t you there?'”

Goliday responded, “I’ve always been there. I ain’t never been the most wealthiest person or nothing like that, but I do what I can.”

Still, Goliday harbors guilt about what he didn’t do.

“I tell my kids every day that I’m sorry.  I feel like I failed and I should have put on an ongoing fight against the system to try to, but I thought they was OK.”

Records also show the court recommended DCS provide prevention services to the family when custody of Nicholas went to his maternal grandmother.

DCS wouldn’t comment on the case due to the pending murder investigation.

8 comments

  • Robert L Walker

    I have absolutely no sympathy for this man who allowed his children to be in this situation to began with. He knew the situation with their mother, and should have took whatever action necessary to insure their safety. DCS, or the system as he called it should have never been involved had he did his job as their father. He should be ashamed to show his worthless face in public.

  • Ms. K

    How can you say you have no sympathy for someone just because they didn’t do what you feel they should have been doing? This response is so reckless and insensitive to any hurting person. Only a portion of the story is being presented.To take such a harsh stance on just limited information makes you appear very judgemental. There is no excuse for any person that is able to not provide for their children. However, poverty and a lack of education plays a major role in a person’s ability to provide. Maybe he could have done more. Maybe he did the best he could with what he had. This is sad and a loss for the whole family. It really doesn’t matter now who didn’t do what because it’s done. Could this have been prevented? Maybe. Maybe not. The mother is obviously sick. If she wasn’t being properly monitored and the children weren’t being properly monitored while in her care, this could have happened at any given moment. Praying for all involved.

    • Robert L Walker

      Here’s a news flash for you Ms. K, IMHO people like you are part of the problem with black men not taking responsibility for their children. Got my start and work ethic from the cotton fields of Mississippi. Fathered three daughters (all by the same woman by the way), who are all college education positive contributing adults to society. This was accomplished by working 30+ years in the hot! smoky, dusty steel mills in Gary, IN with a high school education. Never looked for handouts/entitlements, or expected any help from the so called “SYSTEM”. People like this man is one of the main reasons there is a stigma attached to black fathers. Forget the lame excuses, step up and take care of, and raise your children, and maybe our children will stop killing each other.

      • Ms K

        Again, RLW, how can you say you have no sympathy for this man. You don’t have to agree with the decision(s) he made. This is a very horrific event for anyone to have to go through. While it appears you have very strong work ethics; your lack of compassion causes me to shiver. Innocent lives were lost. Yes, he holds as much responsibility as the mother as far as taking care of his children. However, no matter what he did or didn’t do, the pain of losing those children is real. This has nothing to do with logistics, just human nature.

  • Nonya Bidness

    How about he shouldn’t have been procreating with a certifiable nut case? That is the culture, sleep with anything you can get you hands on, 8 to 80, blind, crippled or crazy, doesn’t matter.

    That isn’t how humans act.

  • Jaybabe

    I hate this for the family, but this man hold just as much responsibility for what happened as the mother and DCS. The fact that the courts ordered custody of the child to the grandmother and not the father speaks volumes. Being there and visting with your kids is not enough. When they removed custody from the mother, he should have been right there to take his kids. That guilt he is feeling is there because he knows he should’ve stepped up and been a better father to those kids and he didnt. He failed them.

  • MissBridge

    Memphis needs to recognize that most of it’s violence is directly related to mental illness. The politicians and citizens of Memphis need to demand and enact laws to provide better mental health services to all of it’s citizens. The south is in the dark ages with providing proper and humane treatment to the mentally ill. I grew up in Memphis in the 70’s when it was rare to hear of daily violent crime. Currently I work in the mental health field in a hospital in MN. Here in Minnesota, we are serious, compassionate and very proactive with treating the mentally ill. Doctors, nurses, social workers , child protection and county case workers may all be involved at some point in helping an ill person remain stable and safe. Also, African Americans need to educate themselves about mental illness, speak up and speak out so that the stigma related to mental illness will be a thing of the past. We have to STOP being in denial and being ashamed of addressing mental illness, otherwise we will continue to kill one another regardless of it’s related to chronic drug and alchohol abuse, psychosis , self hatred , anger or depression which are all forms of mental illness. When we start to see and treat the seriousness of mental illness like any other serious health issue then some of this violence and deviant behavior will decrease or change. This mother should have been monitored closely, court ordered to take medications , see a Psychiatrist and/or therapist on a weekly basis. Through closer monitoring of the mother by Mental Health professionals, this tragedy could have been prevented. By the way, I would LOVE to return to Memphis someday to live after I retire. But because of the high crime rate, sadly it may never happen for me.

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