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State Attorney Drops Charges in Toddler's Death

Published: 9/24/2013

From the Pensacola News Journal

The State Attorney's Office dismissed charges Tuesday against a Pensacola man accused of causing the death of a 22-month-old girl in February.

 

Authorities concluded there was no basis to pursue second-degree murder and aggravated child abuse charges against Jeffrey Antwan Simmons after an autopsy determined that Destiny Johnson died of natural causes, Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille said.

 

Simmons was accused by the child's mother of picking the baby up by the neck and throwing her on a bed at their home on Srant Drive. The child died of symptoms consistent with traumatic brain injury on March 12 at Sacred Heart Hospital.

 

The autopsy revealed that Destiny Johnson had meningitis and died of a central nervous system infection.

 

The charges against Simons were dropped and the child's mother, Demetria Johnson, was allowed to withdraw her plea in a child neglect case brought in July stemming from Destiny's death, Marcille said.

 

However, Johnson will continue to serve two years probation in another child neglect case linked to Simmons, he said.

 

Simmons is accused of using excessive physical punishment to discipline another of Johnson's children, and Johnson was charged with neglect for failing to protect the child.

 

Marcille said that the terms of Johnson's probation dictate the Department of Children and Families is to have supervision of her two surviving children, and that neither Johnson nor her children are to have any further contact with Simmons.

Read full article


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