A 64-year-old woman has been charged with homicide after she allegedly sat on her 9-year-old cousin as punishment for “being out of control.”
According to the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, Veronica Green Posey, who weighs 325 pounds, sat on Dericka Lindsay on Saturday while assisting with discipline, reported USA Today.
Posey was also charged with cruelty towards a child. Dericka’s parents, Grace Joan Smith, 69, and James Edmund Smith, 62, were arrested and charged with child neglect for failing to report the abuse.
According to a report, Posey was called by the Smiths to help fix Dericka’s behavior. Grace Smith told the deputy Posey hit Dericka with a ruler and a metal pipe. Then Dericka ran to an armchair, when Posey sat on the child for about 10 minutes.
Although Dericka complained that she could breathe, Posey continued to sit on her, according to James Smith’s arrest record. When Posey got up, she found the child unresponsive and called 911.
When paramedics arrived, they found Dericka unresponsive and transported her to Baptist Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
In a statement to the Pensacola News Journal, Mike Carroll, secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, said the family had a previous interaction with the state's child welfare system.
"Dericka’s death is appalling and DCF will continue coordinating with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office to hold anyone responsible for her death accountable," Carroll's statement read. "As the family has a prior interaction with the child welfare system, a thorough quality assurance review will be conducted to review all prior interactions this family has had with the child welfare system."