The investigation into the death of toddler Demarcus Jackson continues to take odd twists and turns. The tragic story of the Cincinnati area child's violent death garnered national attention this week as the investigation into the possible role the Hamilton County Job and Family Services (JFS) agency played in the death and pretrial hearings for both of his biological parents took place. The county JFS agency recommended the 2-year-old child and his four siblings be returned to the parents he had not lived with since he was little more than a week old. Two months later the child was dead and his parents arrested on murder and child endangerment charges.
Here are some facts about recent court proceedings and altercations relating to the murder trial:* Jackson and his siblings were removed from the Smith-Jackson home two years ago due to neglect.
* Altercations outside the courtroom between the foster care mother who raised the children and relatives of the accused drew large crowds and news cameras.
* Latricia Jackson, the mother of the slain child was jailed yesterday on a $150,000 bond for charges relating to her son's death. Jackson is 22-years-old and pregnant with her sixth child. She is charged with child endangering for not seeking medical attention for the child after he was allegedly stomped in the abdomen by his father Antrone Smith.* Jackson defense attorney Norm Aubin entered a not guilty plead on her behalf and then told local reporters she had been threatened by a jail visitor and is developmentally disabled.
* Medical experts contend that if care had been offered, the child may have lived.
* Abun claims she has been under the control of Smith since she was 14. If convicted she can spend up to three years in jail.
* Jackson's surviving children are ages 5,4,3, and 11 months and were once again placed in foster care.
* According to court documents, Jackson told authorities that she was concerned about losing custody of the children again because that would mean the loss of "government checks."
* Antrone Smith pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder charges. Smith faces the death penalty if convicted in his son's death. According to court documents, Smith told arresting officers on the scene that he had hit his son.
* The autopsy report discovered evidence of prolonged neglect and abuse. The report revealed cuts on the toddler's buttocks, near his penis, neck, ear, arms, jaw, leg, eye, abdomen and a burned hand. Hamilton County Commons Pleas Court Judge John West ordered Smith held on a $500,000 and an electronic tracking device be worn if a bail bond is secured.
* Outside the courtroom relatives of Smith garnered a flurry of attention when speaking vehemently against the court, foster care and county system. An aunt of Smith's had to be restrained by law enforcement officer when attempting to reach the child's weeping foster care mother, Latasha Tye.
* Smith's mother Florence told local media her son is innocent and offers the sole financial support for the family because in the past he has worked at McDonald's and Kroger.
* Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine are both looking into the actions and policies of the county JFS agency in relation to the death of Jackson, another toddler and a baby who died violently in the past 10 months. Tyrese Short was also beaten in the abdomen and his father charged with the crime after a recommendation by JFS to return him to the home.