Schools, students dedicate memorials to slain Alexandria Elementary classmate

Apr. 27—ALEXANDRIA — A small ceremony held Wednesday morning with students from Alexandria Elementary School in attendance has helped ensure the memory of their slain fellow classmate and what he suffered is never forgotten.

It was January 18 when six-year-old Jessie McCormack was brought to RMC Anniston by his father where attendants received the unconscious and badly beaten boy.

Jessie died two days later after being transported to Children's Hospital in Birmingham.

School administrators and students in the county, Anniston and Oxford, as well as many businesses and individuals, wore McCormack's favorite color of orange on the day of his funeral — a service paid for by the generosity of many Calhoun countians.

The Wednesday ceremony also included members of Jessie's family, Calhoun County School Board members and district administration staff, Alexandria Elementary staff and Anniston Memorial Funeral Home staff.

Superintendent Dr. Jose Reyes, in a social media posting Wednesday, announced that fundraising had exceeded $13,000 and made it possible for the purchase of cemetery markers, memorial benches, a school marker and a memorial tree.

"A funding source remaining from the donations has been established at Alexandria Elementary School that will be used for children moving forward when needs arise," Reyes said. "My intention today is to just say thank you and let you know that your donations made this happen. God bless you."

Jessie was laid to rest at Edgemont Cemetery next to his 18-month-old brother, Enzo, who has suffered a similar fate and for whom a marker was also purchased by the fundraising efforts.

Enzo's death came in 2019 allegedly at the hands of their mother Samantha McCormack, 24, and her boyfriend, Robert Elmore Jr., 28. The pair have been charged with the capital murder of Enzo in Blount County, where they await trial.

Jessie's father, Joshua D. Clark, 29, of Anniston remains in the Calhoun County Jail without bond on charges of aggravated child abuse and capital murder.

Staff Writer Brian Graves: 256-236-1551.