ATLANTA – “She’s one of the most outstanding mothers that I know,” Tyshonda Bunkley said.
Bunkley said she's been friends with alleged murderer, Lillian Stone, dating back to the fifth grade.
“I’ve never known her to be in any type of trouble with the law,” Bunkley said.
But all of that changed on Oct. 31 when a 911 call came in.
Police charged Stone, 25, with the murder of her 3-year-old son, Melvin, who was allegedly left in a car for three hours; he died days later.
But her friend says, don't judge her so fast.
Bunkley, who calls Stone, “Lily,” said they went to school together at Heritage Academy and said "she’s just an amazing person” and would never harm her children.
“I know she would never hurt her kids,” Bunkley said crying.
“I just hate that a child lost his life, but things happen. They happen…” she said wiping away tears from her cheek. “The type of mother they’re making her out to be, that’s not her at all.”
The mother’s friend wants the public to stop judging her friend and try and put themselves in her shoes.
“All the negative things she’s hearing, it’s coming from people that don’t know her personally and they just know a 3-year-old has died, so they have to blame someone and I get it—but please, not his mom.”
What happened? Bunkley said, she doesn’t know—but she is sure that it was an accident.
“What could’ve been the situation, was he asleep? And I just, I know how I can be forgetful sometimes. But I know she didn’t do that intentionally,” she said defending her friend.
“We are all human and if anybody acts perfect like they don’t make mistakes, no. That’s not the truth.”
A neighbor noticed the boy around 3:30 p.m., in Stone’s car in her driveway and called police.
According to her arrest warrants, police believe Stone left her son in the car from noon until 3:30 p.m. The warrant said the little boy was still buckled into his car seat. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition before dying on Nov. 4.
The 911 call was recently released and could shed some light on what might have happened on that Halloween afternoon in an Atlanta subdivision.
Dispatch: 911, what's the address of the emergency?
Caller: Smoke Ridge… got a baby that's not breathing.
Dispatch: Are you in the Merriweather subdivision?
Caller: Ma'am I don't know. We just drove over here.
Dispatch: OK, is there someone that do know?
Caller: Yes, but she's panicking right now.
Dispatch: OK, the person whose house this is. Can you ask them what is their address?
Caller: Smoke Ridge Drive.
Dispatch: OK, tell me exactly what happened.
Caller: I don’t know ma'am. She said what happened. I think he was in the sun too long ma'am.
Screaming and wailing in the background muffles the phone conversation.
Dispatch: are you with the patient now?
Caller: Yes. How old is he?
Dispatch: OK, I’m sending a paramedic now to help you. Stay on the line. I need to ask you a few questions, OK?
Dispatch: How old is he?
Caller: 3… 3 years old
Dispatch: Is he awake?
Caller: Yes, he's barely awake.
Uncontrollable crying can be heard in the background.
Dispatch: OK, is he breathing?
Caller: Yes, I think so, yes. He's barely awake though.
Dispatch: Has he ever had a heart attack or angina? Dispatch: Has he ever had a heart attack or angina?
Caller: No, ma'am. No.
Dispatch: Is the patient male or female?
Caller: Male, male.
Dispatch: Does he have a change in skin color? Does he have a change in skin color?
Caller: No, she says, no.
Dispatch: OK, and what is his skin temperature?
There’s a long pause.
Caller: Yes, ma'am.
Dispatch: I said what is his skin temperature? …I need more of your help, OK?
Caller: OK, we're gonna take him in the house.
Dispatch: OK, I'm sending paramedics to help you now. Stay on the line I'll tell you exactly what to do next.
Dispatch: Remove him from any sources of heat. Remove his outer clothing. Apply cold water to his entire skin surface while fanning him. And turn on an air conditioner or fan.
Caller: We are. We are.
Dispatch: Are you right by him now? …OK, listen carefully. Lay him flat on his back on the floor. Remove any pillows.
Dispatch: I want you to kneel next to him and look in his mouth for any food or ...
A woman takes the phone.
Caller: Hello? I'm a nurse. His heartrate is real strong. He's dehydrated a lot. They say he's been in the car for 2 hours.
Caller: His name is Melvin. But his heartrate is real strong.
Caller: He's dehydrated really bad. But his heartrate is real strong
Dispatch: OK, I want you to say now every single time he takes a breath in. Say now every single time he takes a breath in.
Caller: Now. Now. Now. Now. Now. Now. Now.
Place hand on forehead and one under his neck
Caller: His head's not that hot.
Dispatch: OK, that's good. Now, carefully tilt his head back.
Dispatch: OK, ma'am, was he in the car by himself?
Caller: Yes. For two hours.
Dispatch: OK, was he locked inside the car or was it intentional?
Caller: What'd you say?
Dispatch: Was he locked inside the car or was it intentional?
Caller: He's 3 years old. She don't know. She's hysterical right now 29
Dispatch: OK, was he in the vehicle by himself?
Dispatch: So, ma'am, do you know why he was in the car?
Caller: She said… (she asks someone who’s on the scene with them.)
Was you leaving to go somewhere or did you come home? You were leaving?
Caller: She was leaving and forgot he was in there.
So, you left somewhere then came back? Did you came in the house? Cause you were looking for him?
Dispatch: OK, we're going to get someone down there as soon as possible.
Caller: His pulse is strong.
Dispatch: Ma'am, is he awake?
Dispatch: Yes, he's awake. His eyes are open… He's not blinking.
The phone goes silent.
Dispatch: How's he doing, ma'am?
Dispatch: Hello? Hello?
The autopsy results, which will determine the cause of his death, have not been released.
Stone, who is currently in Fulton County Jail, is due back in court on Nov. 15.
The only thing Bunkley knows to do is pray.
“It just breaks my heart because I have kids and I can just imagine what she’s going through,” she said. “I just pray for that family.”