A woman from Pensacola, Florida, is being charged with murder and cruelty toward a child for allegedly sitting on her cousin and killing her.
On Saturday, Oct. 14, Veronica Posey, 64, was called to the house of James Smith, 62, and Grace Smith, 69, to “discipline” their 9-year-old daughter, Dericka Lindsay, because Dericka was “out of control,” a police report states, according to the Pensacola News Journal.
Grace Smith, the mother of Dericka, told a deputy that Dericka ran to an armchair after Posey struck her with a ruler and a metal pipe.
James Smith, Dericka’s father, told a deputy in his arrest report that Posey then sat on Dericka for about 10 minutes before Dericka complained she was not able to breathe.
Posey, who told a deputy she weighed 325 pounds, continued to sit on the child for another two minutes, James said, before standing up and realizing Dericka was unresponsive.
Posey told a deputy she then called 911 and began performing CPR.
Posey, James, and Grace Smith were all arrested on Oct. 14. James was charged with child neglect and released on a $50,000 bond and Grace was charged with with child neglect and cruelty towards a child and released on a $75,000 bond, according to an online jail record database.
Posey was released on a $125,000 bond.
Mike Carroll, secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), told the News Journal that the family had a history 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 told the paper in an emailed statement, “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.”
Both Posey and Grace Smith are due to appear in court on Nov. 3, according to the jail’s records database.