Brooklyn mom Tenika Revell has been charged with beating her 7-year-old son, Bernard James Revell (pictured), to death with a hammer because she believes she is dying and didn’t want anyone else to raise him after her death, the New York Daily News reports.
Tenika’s longtime boyfriend, Terrance Johnson, believes she killed her only child because she believed she is dying from cancer.
“She loved him so much she didn’t want nobody else to have him,” Terrace Johnson said of his longtime girlfriend Tenika Revell, who killed her son Bernard — bashing his head with a hammer — Friday in their Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment. She took pills to try and kill herself, but survived.
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“She didn’t want her mother or none of them to get Bernard.”
The Tenika, who completed two stints in prison on burglary and robbery charges, was dealing with a number of mental health issues before killing Bernard. Johnson said she also had an “angry side.” But he insists that she showed all of the signs of a good mother. Johnson says that she would buy toys for the boy, even when she couldn’t pay other bills.
Johnson spoke to Tenika on the day that she reportedly killed the boy and says her behavior was suspicious. At first, she told him that she and Bernard were staying inside because of the heat. But later phone calls raised his eyebrows.
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He called later in the day, but no one picked up. “She wouldn’t answer the phone,” he said. “That was strange.”
She called him back about 8:15 p.m. He noticed she was breathing heavily. He asked to chat with the boy and she said he was sleeping. “He’s very energetic,” Johnson said. “He’s not one to be sleeping all the time.”
When he asked more questions, she grew angry and hung up on him.
Later, he would learn that she had already confessed the crime to her mother in Florida. “Tenika called her mother around 7:30 and told her mother that she killed Bernard and was on her way to killing herself,” Johnson said.
Revell called 911 and calmly confessed just before 11 p.m. Friday, cops said. Johnson didn’t know the boy was dead until the next morning, when he came to visit and saw the news cameras and police tape.
The mother has been charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child. She is being treated at a New York City hospital and awaiting arraignment.
“She took his life,” Johnson said. “She’s got to live with that for the rest of her life.”