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.