Woman gets life in prison for 2-year-old step-granddaughter’s murder

Pamella Shelton, 57, was convicted of felony murder and aggravated child abuse, and a judge...
Pamella Shelton, 57, was convicted of felony murder and aggravated child abuse, and a judge sentenced her to life in prison this week.(Elmore County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 1:47 PM PDT
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WETUMPKA, Ala. (WSFA/Gray News) – A woman in Alabama has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of her 2-year-old step-granddaughter.

Pamella Shelton, 57, was convicted of felony murder and aggravated child abuse, and a judge sentenced her to life in prison this week.

Prosecutors say the death of 2-year-old Rosalie Rawls in July 2017 resulted from Shelton violently shaking the toddler and slamming her head against a hard surface.

Testimony during the trial detailed “extensive head injuries and abusive head trauma.”

Rosalie’s mother, Quneshia Rawls, said she had dropped her daughter off at her father’s home in Wetumpka for a few days. Upon returning to pick her child up, she received a terrifying call that Rosalie was having a seizure. The child was rushed to Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham, where she died.

The case previously resulted in a mistrial in 2019 due to a procedural violation. The subsequent trial was put on hold again after Shelton’s daughter, who was in the home at the time of Rosalie’s death, failed to show up to court as a key witness.

Elmore County District Attorney CJ Robinson previously said investigators believe Shelton shook and slammed the toddler out of “pent-up frustration.”

“Evil is real,” Robinson said. “What Shelton did to this child was evil. I am proud of the Wetumpka PD and our prosecutors for never blinking an eye and staying focused in our search for truth and our pursuit of justice for Rosalie. She was a beautiful 2-year-old girl who deserved to have us fight for her with all our being. Also, thank you to the victim’s family for supporting us every step of the way.”

Robinson said Shelton showed no signs of remorse nor accepted responsibility for her actions.