Arraignment for adoptive mother accused in boy's death delayed

Date: 2009-03-13

STEVE E. SWENSON
Bakersfield Californian

Outrage and anger were the feelings of the birth family of a 5-year-old boy who was allegedly murdered by his adoptive mother.

The adoptive mother, 58-year-old Gloria Grayson, made her first court appearance Thursday on murder and child abuse charges. Those stem from the Sunday night beating death of Kevin Michael King.

Grayson’s arraignment was delayed to March 19 so the public defender’s staff can determine if it has any conflicts of interest in representing her, such as previously representing witnesses in the case.

The boy’s family, who have been friends with Grayson’s family, told reporters they were very upset.

“This is devastating,” said 57-year-old Jean Butler, a great-aunt of the victim. “If you feel you can’t handle a young baby, give him back. She could have contacted any of us.”

The birth mother of the boy, 30-year-old Kawanna Adkins, said, “I’m mad. I always want my baby.”

Adkins declined to discuss the circumstances which led to her child being adopted.

Adkins’ cousin, Violeta Cordova, 28, came to court from her Los Angeles home.

“I’m outraged,” she said. “What could a 5-year-old possibly do to you? The murder of a 5-year-old innocent baby is just horrible.”

Several members of Grayson’s family also came to court, but they declined to comment.

Grayson remains in jail without bail. She’s also a foster mother and three foster children were removed from her home when she was arrested.

The boy suffered blunt force trauma to his chest and abdomen, the coroner’s office said.

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