Jacksonville Mom Charged in Son’s Death May Be Able to Attend Funeral

A Jacksonville woman who faces an aggravated manslaughter charge in connection with her 2-year-old son’s death may be able to go free to attend the boy’s funeral, The Florida Times-Union is reporting.

The 25-year-old mother faces the charge after a 12-year-old slammed her 2-year-old into a bookcase in March, beating him to death. The aggravated manslaughter of a child charge in Jacksonville is based on allegations that she caused the death by covering up the fact that the toddler’s leg was previously broken and leaving him in the care of the 12-year-old, who has a past history of violent outbursts, the newspaper reports.
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Legally, aggravated manslaughter of a child means killing a person under 18 unlawfully and by culpable negligence. Prosecutors are seeking to prove she failed to provide the boy with care, supervision and services necessary to maintain the boy’s health, according to Florida Statutes 782.07.

Offenses involving children are always heartbreaking. But, like any charge, the allegations must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt, not just written about in the newspapers, broadcast on television news or blogged about on websites.

This particular case has been a particularly high-profile incident, with the news media covering just about every step of the proceedings. So, the question remains — can either the 12-year-old or the boy’s mother receive a fair trial.

In this news story, the newspaper is reporting on the fact that the woman’s attorney has asked that she be allowed to attend her son’s funeral. Thus far, the prosecutor and judge have not opposed the motion, but the woman would have to pay for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to escort her to the service.

She wouldn’t be allowed to talk to anyone or touch anyone and she would be forced to wear shackles and a jail jumpsuit. Certainly, it would be embarrassing and even more saddening for the woman if she can’t afford to go.

Certainly, this case has gotten the public talking. So much so, that a judge has issued a gag order in the case, the newspaper reported, because of the intense media attention. Gag orders mean the attorneys aren’t allowed to talk to the media about the case and such orders are reserved for only the most high-profile cases that get the highest amount of media attention.

The 12-year-old who faces the first-degree murder charge is the youngest person in Jacksonville history to face such a serious charge and ranks among the youngest nationwide. Both the charges against the mother and the boy are extremely serious and must be fought hard. Both are first-degree felonies that could keep either in prison for a very long time. A first-degree felony in Florida is punishable by 30 years to life in prison, meaning the defense should be as aggressive as possible in order to ensure their rights are protected.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

More Blog Entries:

Juvenile Arrested in Jacksonville for First-Degree Murder: June 3, 2011
Additional Resources:

Jacksonville mom jailed in 2-year-old son’s death could go free for funeral, by Bridget Murphy, The Florida Times-Union