Mom and her boyfriend have been accused of abusing her 3-year-old son for weeks before killing him. According to the court documents, the mother and the boyfriend are now facing death penalty in child abuse death of 3 year old boy, Jameson. Prosecutors described the murder as ‘especially heinous, atrocious and cruel’and said it was committed after the child had suffered abuse. In addition to the murder charges, both suspects face charges of aggravated child abuse and neglect of a child with great bodily harm.
According to the court documents, the mother Erica Dotson, and her boyfriend, Joshua Manns, were indicted on first-degree murder charges in July after the death of her son Jameson. On August 19, prosecutors filed a motion of intent to seek the death penalty against the couple, who prosecutors say are responsible for the child’s death.
The boyfriend called Erica on June 11 and told her Jameson had drowned in the bathtub. When the mother got back at the apartment in Florida, Joshua was nowhere to be seen and had never called for medical assistance. He left her a note saying he had a seizure while the boy was in the tub, resulting in him drowning. He wrote that no one would believe him and he did not want to spend his life in prison for something he did not do.
According to the police officials, a downstairs neighbor allegedly heard loud banging that morning. The ‘neighbors described the noise in that it sounded like a bowling ball being thrown around.’ They could not recall hearing any screaming, yelling or crying and as such did not report this unusual noise to anyone.
During initial questioning, the couple claimed the child drowned in the bathtub. But, the autopsy did not find any evidence that the young boy had drowned. Investigators discovered that the 3-year-old boy actually suffered from battered-child syndrome, suffering from weeks-old injuries, including a broken tooth, a broken rib, stab wounds to the head and brain swelling along with a laceration to the jaw.
Authorities say there were significant signs of hemorrhaging and bruising that were in various states of healing. Police believe the mother knew the abuse was taking place and did nothing to protect the child.