SALEM — Jamaal Goodwin is back with the man he calls "Pops."
The 8-year-old boy, who was left inside a burning Salem apartment after his throat had been slashed, allegedly by his own mother, is out of the hospital and on the mend, according to a lawyer for a family member.
"Jamaal is doing very well," said attorney Courtney Linnehan. "He is obviously happy to be out of the hospital ... and so happy to be with Wayne again."
Linnehan represents Wayne Cox, 62, a relative from Atlanta who raised Jamaal for six years and who is trying to get custody of the boy.
The boy's mother, Tanicia Goodwin, a 25-year-old Gloucester native and Salem resident who gained custody two years ago, has been charged with two counts of armed assault with intent to murder in the throat slashings of Jamaal and his 3-year-old sister, Erica, who was released from the hospital earlier.
The children were taken to Children's Hospital in Boston after being rescued by Salem firefighters.
Erica reportedly is in the custody of her father, who was not living with the children at the time of the March 18 incident at the Salem Heights apartment building.
Tanicia Goodwin also faces arson and other charges and remains in custody.
Jamaal, a first-grader at Witchcraft Heights Elementary School, was released from the hospital more than two weeks ago, the lawyer said.
While at Children's Hospital, he received cards from Witchcraft Heights classmates. The family was "very appreciative," the lawyer said.
Jamaal has been placed temporarily with a relative in Boston, where Wayne Cox is currently staying. The boy remains in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.
"Wayne is hoping ultimately to get custody of Jamaal and go back to Georgia where they all lived," Linnehan said.
Cox, a retired accountant, and the boy are going to the Big Apple Circus this week, she said.
"As far as Jamaal is concerned, Wayne is his parent and always has been," she said.
Tom Dalton can be reached at email@example.com.