Somerest County Children Face Difficult Recovery After Attack - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Somerest County Children Face Difficult Recovery After Attack

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- Two children who were beaten in their Somerset County home continue to recover in a Baltimore hospital.

The children were beaten earlier this month in an attack that killed their mother, Airealle Sells. Sells' boyfriend, Sharef Hayward, is charged in the attacks in Princess Anne. Hayward was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Thursday, but it was postponed to January 30th. 

Sells was stabbed and beaten with a hammer, and the children, one of whom is Hayward's, were beaten with a hammer, according to court documents. Sells had obtained a protective order against Hayward the day before the attacks. 

Sells' mother, Valentina Downing, now has custody of Naomi, 7, and Aiden, 4.         

Downing and her supporters were in court Thursday wearing shirts printed with pictures of her daughter and grandchildren. The children have a long road to recovery as they endure extensive rehabilitation.

"They have to re-learn everything, how to eat, how to walk, how to move. Everything, they just have to learn it all over again," said Downing. 

Naomi has been told her mother is gone, but they are waiting to tell Aiden until he is able to speak and communicate his feelings, said Downing.

"They're going through a lot of mental anguish because they don't understand why their body's not working the way it used to work. They're not understanding why they haven't seen their mother. Understanding is a big portion for a 7-year old and 4-year old. They haven't come to grips with it yet" said Downing.

Downing says the support of family and friends is helping her cope with the loss, and she is trying to extend the same love to Hayward's family in spite of the difficult circumstances.

"We just want justice to be served, but because of the love of Christ, we can't let the anger overcome us. We have to be strong in the Lord, even uphold that family. That family has to be upheld because we are all name in Christ," she said. 

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