Shayaa Yusef Forbes (Courtesy of Paulding County Sheriff's Officer)
DALLAS, Ga. -- A father charged with killing his 12-year-old son faced a judge Tuesday morning, where bond was set at $30,000.
Shayaa Forbes was arrested earlier this month after calling 911 to report his son Eric had drowned in the bathtub.
The results of the bond hearing left several advocates and community members reeling, as did the revelation that DFCS received ten referrals to potential abuse regarding Eric.
"Ten calls?" said community member Crystal Terry, who helped form the Facebook group Peace for Eric Forbes. "That doesn't just slip through the cracks."
Paula Sparks of SafePath Children's Advocacy Center added, "If there were numerous reports, there were numerous people involved in this case. What did we miss?"
An investigation determined Eric Forbes had been abused for years. His father was arrested and charged with murder. The case rocked the Paulding County neighborhood where the family lived.
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In Tuesday's probable cause and bond hearing, the lead investigator said Shayaa Forbes signed away his right to be silent and admitted to physically punishing his son.
"I'm not gonna lie," Forbes said. "I whooped my son."
Investigators said Forbes told them the abuse began Thursday, October 10, after Eric brought home school progress reports that were bad.
The lead detective, testifying on the stand during the hearing, said that Forbes punished his son both on that Thursday as well as on the following day.
"He advised that during the altercation on Thursday that he hit him with a belt and a paddle," the detective said. "And then on Friday, he advised that he also bit him and spanked him. The Thursday incident, he said, lasted about 45 minutes."
The detective detailed Eric's injuries, which were very graphic in nature.
He told the judge, the night of his death, Eric had swollen legs with bruises and contusions down to his ankles, bruised feet, his big toe nails were broken in half, his arms and upper chest had bite makrs and his eyes were swollen and bruised.
Paulding County Sgt. Kevin Morgan said the boy's teachers were interviewed. He said there were ten referrals to the Department of Family and Children's Services, seven of those from his teachers at Frey Elementary School.
"When we get cases like this and we report it over and over and nothing happens, it's very frustrating," said Connie Jackson with the Cobb County Association of Educators.
Two DFCS investigations both ended with unfounded findings. Morgan says Eric's father blamed the injuries on football.
The judge bound the case over to the grand jury. Bond for Forbes was set at $30,000. The defense had asked for a $20,000 bond, arguing that Forbes is not a flight risk, and that the family does not have the means to post a higher bond.
Forbes has been in jail since the day his son died.