OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A 10-year-old boy held for aggravated manslaughter in the death of his 2-year-old cousin first told deputies that she fell from a playpen.
After the medical examiner found multiple fractures and bruises and ruled that Journee Blyden’s death in June was a homicide, the boy told investigators a different story: He said he accidentally fell on top of her on the kitchen floor, lifted her to the counter to examine her, and then accidentally knocked her to the floor again.
A judge ordered the boy to remain in custody Thursday pending formal charges after the boy’s sister told child welfare workers that he repeatedly hit her and their young cousin.
Meanwhile, the dead girl’s father, Kendall Corey Dustin Blyden, is on trial this week in Ocala, represented by the same public defender’s office, in the beating death of his then-girlfriend’s 1-year-old son, Jayden Green, nearly two years ago.
Journee’s mother, Nicole Davis, told The Ocala Star-Banner after the hearing that she feels sorry for the boy.
She blames poor supervision and neglect, and said the boy needs counseling, but also expressed fear that he may harm other children in the family if he’s released from custody.
She had left Journee with relatives, planning to return for her once she got a job out of state, and had given the boy’s grandmother permission to pick Journee up from day care and seek medical care for her if needed.
Called back to her daughter’s side at a hospital, she remained with her until she died, and her organs were donated.