Father indicted for murder in toddler's death; mother also charged
Antrone Smith (Source: Cincinnati Police)
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters holds a photo of DeMarcus Jackson during a press conference on Friday
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -
The father of a 2-year-old boy who was killed last week has been indicted for murder.
Antrone Smith, 29, is accused of killing DeMarcus Jackson on Oct. 21. He was indicted for aggravated murder, murder and felonious assault.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced the indictment on Friday, and said that he will be seeking the death penalty against Smith.
Deters also announced the indictment of DeMarcus' mother, Latricia Jackson, 22, on one count of endangering children for a lack of care that resulted in injuries to DeMarcus. If convicted, she faces 9 to 36 months in prison. Deters said Latricia Jackson is currently pregnant with her sixth child.
A medical examination revealed numerous injuries to DeMarcus' left jaw, left eye, legs, arms and midsection. There were also lacerations above his penis, on the back of his neck, above his left ear and on his left buttocks. He also had an untreated burn on his right hand. The coroner ruled that DeMarcus died of blunt force trauma to his abdomen. Deters said he had severe internal bleeding and his injuries were consistent with being stomped on.
"DeMarcus suffered injuries beyond horrific in nature," said Deters. "It is simply heartbreaking."
DeMarcus' four siblings (ages 5) and younger, who were living with Jackson and Smith, were immediately removed from the home and have been placed in the care of the Hamilton County Department of Jobs and Family Services. They showed now signs of injury.
DeMarcus had been with a foster family, but it was determined in August that he could return to his biological parents.
The foster family is devestated by DeMarcus' death. The foster mother sobbed as she heard the horrific details of the toddler's injuries.
When asked why DeMarcus was singled out from his siblings, Deters said Smith believed that DeMarcus was not his child.
The sister of Antrone Smith sent this statement to FOX19:
My family and I are in distraught over this entire situation. My brother loves his kids and they love him. He fought for them for 2 yrs. And to have people and news media to portray him as a vicious murderer is sad. And we are appalled! My nephew died on his brother birthday where he was being a kid and eating cake and ice cream. Antrone didn't beat his children nor whip them fearing that he would lose them again. You have 4 boys in a home where 2 of them have ADHD, boys will rough house. I was at the hospital when they pronounced my nephew dead. CPR was performed on him for 30-40min straight! Could that be the bruising on his abdomen? I didn't see bruises or marks on his torso, Then to say his hand was put over a stove! Come on! He babysat his niece and nephews. Also the media did not state that while in the foster parents care 2 of my nephews had stitches near and above there eyes. In the picture, the bruise on Damarcus right eye was one of them. My brother has walked miles to pawn items from there home to keep a roof over his family head. He has been the main parent in this battle of custody for his kids. He has shown a great deal in making a better home for his family. Despite not having much. We can not say why the mother did not put in an effort in this progress of them becoming a better family,but we do know how long of a struggle this has been for . Our family wish that the media and public can please see how accidents do happen. A murderer doesnt have a heart nor conscious. My brother do he has 6 kids all under 6 n he love them dearly this is just a mistake thats shocking to all. I would also like to say to the public that there are cases out here that people have murdered and buried the child and did not do any time another is a case where a baby was shook to death and only got 10 yrs. And much more this is an actually accident in which he has great remorse for what he did our family is suffering not only the lost of a child but the lost of a brother please do not bring upon another death to our family.