JEHESSYE SHOCKLEY - 5 yo (2011)/ Charged: Mother; Jerice Hunter - Glendale AZ

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Re: JEHESSYE SHOCKLEY - 5 yo (2011)/ Charged: Mother; Jerice Hunter - Glendale AZ

Post by mom_in_il on Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:02 pm

Shockley family files claim, fights for sisters' custody

Posted: Mar 07, 2013 9:24 AM CST
Updated: Mar 07, 2013 9:49 AM CST
By Steve Stout

PHOENIX (CBS5) - There were two big developments in the case of missing Jhessye Shockley, a story that captivated news audiences last year.

Family members who raised Jhessye have filed a $10 million wrongful death claim, claiming not enough was done to prevent the 5-year-old from suffering abuse at the hands of her mother.

And the little girl's grandmother is in court fighting for custody of Jhessye's sisters.

The notice of claim is the first step in filing a lawsuit. The claim, if it goes to court, would be for the $10 million, but family members said they are willing to settle for $3 million. The claim, they said, is not at all about the money.

"We are still trying to get justice for Jhessye," said Lisa Vance, Jhessye's cousin.

Justice is the motivation behind the notice of claim, which accuses the Glendale Police Department and Child Protective Services of gross negligence. Family members said they repeatedly reported to those agencies their suspicions of abuse suffered by Jhessye and her sisters at the hands of their mother, Jerice Hunter.

"They had a chance to save her life and they chose to sweep it under the rug," Vance said. "However it happened, they didn't save her and she should have been saved."

Hunter reported 5-year-old Jhessye missing in October 2011. Hunter now sits in jail charged with first-degree murder even though her daughter's body has never been found.

"I know for a fact that me and my immediate family, we did everything possible," Vance said. "We did everything by the book to try to not only get Jhessye out of the home, but we were trying to get all of the children out of the home."

Their attorney, Dwane Cates, said that despite the family's fear of abuse, Glendale police were non-responsive.

"They called the Glendale Police Department, said there was abuse going on," Cates said. "The Glendale Police Department did no investigation. They didn't even go talk with Jerice Hunter. They didn't do anything."

Police turned the case over to Child Protective Services, which despite signs of possible abuse, took little action.

"If they did do their job, we wouldn't be here today," Vance said. "Jhessye would be here."

The claim also points out that CPS and Glendale police should have paid closer attention to the possible abuse claims since Hunter had a history of child abuse and did time in a California prison for abuse.

Neither the Glendale Police Department nor CPS would comment about the pending litigation.

In another development, Shirley Johnson, Jhessye's grandmother who cared for and actually had legal custody of Jhessye's three older sisters while Hunter was in prison, was in juvenile court for a severance hearing Wednesday afternoon.

Johnson would not talk with CSB 5 News when the hearing was over for the day but we learned the state of Arizona is trying to strip Johnson of her legal guardianship of the three girls, who have been in foster care since Jhessye went missing.

Johnson is fighting the state's efforts, hoping to get the children out of foster care, maintain her guardianship and take the girls to California where Johnson lives.

Johnson's hearing continues Thursday.

http://kpho.membercenter.worldnow.com/story/21544108/shockley-family-files-claim-fights-for-sisters-custody
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Re: JEHESSYE SHOCKLEY - 5 yo (2011)/ Charged: Mother; Jerice Hunter - Glendale AZ

Post by twinkletoes on Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:54 am

flash0115 wrote:Granny isnt helping with the legal bills? i remember her condemning any and everyone because her daughter, the loving mother, was a suspect.


The times, they are achanging...
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Re: JEHESSYE SHOCKLEY - 5 yo (2011)/ Charged: Mother; Jerice Hunter - Glendale AZ

Post by tinalovesnick on Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:26 am

Funny how the family blames cps and police. Blame Grandma. Shirley Johnson HAD legal custody and she believed Jerice had changed and gave them back. Right... if she kept the kids like she was supposed to, Jehessye would be alive.
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Re: JEHESSYE SHOCKLEY - 5 yo (2011)/ Charged: Mother; Jerice Hunter - Glendale AZ

Post by twinkletoes on Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:25 am

Yes Tina, they want to blame everyone but the criminal monster.
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Re: JEHESSYE SHOCKLEY - 5 yo (2011)/ Charged: Mother; Jerice Hunter - Glendale AZ

Post by mom_in_il on Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:00 pm

Woman set for trial in daughter's disappearance

Published 2:03 am, Tuesday, July 29, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) A Jan. 12 trial has been set for an Arizona woman charged with murder in the disappearance of her 5-year-old daughter in 2011.

Jerice Hunter pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and child abuse charges in the disappearance of Jhessye (jesse) Shockley.

Investigators believe Shockley was killed and her body was put in a trash bin days before Hunter reported the girl missing.

Police say Hunter told police that she left Jhessye with the girl's older siblings while she ran an errand and returned to find her gone.

A 96-day search at a landfill in 2012 ended without finding the girl's remains.

In 2005, Hunter was arrested on child abuse charges in California and served about four years in prison after pleading pleaded no contest to corporal punishment.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Woman-set-for-trial-in-daughter-s-disappearance-5653068.php
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Re: JEHESSYE SHOCKLEY - 5 yo (2011)/ Charged: Mother; Jerice Hunter - Glendale AZ

Post by mom_in_il on Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:43 pm

Judge sets Jan. 12 trial date for Glendale mom Jerice Hunter

By KPHO Channel 5
Official Media Partner
Updated September 12, 2014



PHOENIX, Ariz. - More than three years after her daughter disappeared, Jerice Hunter will finally go to trial.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Rosa Mroz set a Jan. 12 trial date for Hunter, who's charged with first-degree murder and child abuse in the disappearance of 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley in October 2011.

Hunter appeared before Mros on Friday, Sept. 12, for a case management conference, at which time Mroz scheduled status conference hearing for Oct. 31.

Hunter has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Investigators said they believe Hunter killed Jhessye and dumped her body in a trash bin in Tempe days before reporting her daughter missing Oct. 11, 2011. The girl's body has never been found.

Hunter was arrested nearly a year later and has been jailed since.

Searchers combed the Butterfield Landfill in the south Valley for more than three months in 2012, but never found Jhessye's body.

Glendale police detectives said they believe the girl's body rests in the landfill.

Hunter maintains she left her daughter with her older sibling's at their Glendale apartment to run an errand when she disappeared.

A search warrant was served on their home six weeks after Jhessye was reported missing and Hunter was arrested for child abuse the day the warrant was served. But no charges were filed and she was released.

Hunter was also arrested on child-abuse charges in 2005 in California and served nearly four years in prison after pleading no contest to corporal punishment.

http://arizona.newszap.com/westvalley/134991-114/judge-sets-jan-12-trial-date-for-glendale-mom-jerice-hunter
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Re: JEHESSYE SHOCKLEY - 5 yo (2011)/ Charged: Mother; Jerice Hunter - Glendale AZ

Post by mom_in_il on Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:12 pm

Legally Speaking: Now it's up to the jury to decide Jerice Hunter's fate

BY MONICA LINDSTROM, KTAR Legal Analyst, Co-host of The Agenda
April 21, 2015 @ 7:16 am

Is being a bad mother enough for Jerice Hunter to be found guilty of murdering 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley? This is the question the jury will be deliberating.

Jerice Hunter was charged with Type 1 child abuse and first-degree murder. The State has alleged Hunter abused her daughter and as a result of that abuse she killed little Jhessye.

Although the jury will start with those allegations, the jury instructions gave them several options less serious than Type 1 child abuse. However, they can only get to first-degree murder if they find her guilty of Type 1.

The State started its unemotional closing argument by placing a smiling, beautiful picture of Jhessye on the overhead for the jury to focus on.

Prosectuion then proceeded to explain the difference between circumstantial and direct evidence by walking across the courtroom and picking up the piece of bloody carpet from Jerice Hunter's closet to use as an example.

He held it up and said, "We know this is Jhessye Shockley's blood, no one saw her bleed, no direct testimony of that but the totality of the circumstances show this was her blood."

One person sitting on the victim's side ran out of the courtroom in tears.

From there, the State proceeded to explain what Type 1 child abuse was and I will paraphrase, "intentionally or knowingly caused Jhessye Shockley's person or health to be injured."

This was followed with the explanation of the first- degree murder charge. Essentially, Hunter committed the crime of Type 1 child abuse and in the course or furtherance of that crime, she caused the death of Jhessye.

Next the State pointed to several pieces of evidence to show the state proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. This included DNA and blood evidence, the testimony of Jhessye's sister, and Hunter's own statements to the police and the school.

In my opinion, as a lawyer and a mother, it is a no brainer that Hunter abused little Jhessye. Although the jury doesn't know it, Hunter has already served a term in prison for child abuse. Does anyone really believe she has changed? I do not nor do I believe she ever will.

The problem the State has it that it did not find, and it does not have, Jhessye Shockley's body. It cannot say for sure what happened to her and Hunter's defense attorney, Candice Shoemaker, pointed that out.

The defense started its argument by attacking the case for murder and referred to the panic a parent feels when they cannot find their child and the relief they experience when they do find their child seconds later.

The defense claimed that is what Hunter has been feeling since this happened, not the relief but the panic.

Hunter's attorney pointed out that her client was a "flawed woman" and told the jury they may not have made the same decisions Hunter had but that doesn't mean she killed her daughter.

Shoemaker then argued the State was trying to prove its case by spin and interpretation since it cannot say for sure what happened. She does have a point.

The defense accused the State of trying to distract the jury, the two biggest distractions being the bleach and the cadaver dogs.

Bleach is used in everyday cleaning and there are some flaws and gaps in what the dogs alerted to.

It then focused on the witnesses and brought credibility into question. In other words, the defense did exactly what it was supposed to do.

The defense closing focused on the fact that the State is OK with not knowing how or what really happened to Jhessye and it is OK with asking the jury to find Hunter guilty of murder.

Defense pointed out that the questions floating around in the jurors' heads were reasonable doubt.

In rebuttal, the State went on the defensive, going back over the evidence to prove its case.

Throughout closings it appeared the jury already had its mind made up. Granted, jurors are instructed to keep an open mind and to participate in the deliberations.

However, in my opinion they seemed to have their minds made up.

During closings they seldom took notes, were fidgety (one was even spinning in his chair) and frequently looked at the clock. They acted exactly as if they did not need to hear any more, from anyone.

Attorneys have a way of saying the same thing more times than necessary. We try to beat the proverbial dead horse, and we often do.

Does the jury already have its mind made up? We will know Tuesday. If the group comes back quickly, then yes, it had already decided, just like the majority of Arizona has.

http://ktar.com/305/1827303/Legally-Speaking-Now-its-up-to-the-jury-to-decide-Jerice-Hunters-fate
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Re: JEHESSYE SHOCKLEY - 5 yo (2011)/ Charged: Mother; Jerice Hunter - Glendale AZ

Post by babyjustice on Tue May 19, 2015 4:00 am

Jerice Hunter guilty of killing 5-year-old daughter


Jerice Hunter has been found guilty of murder. She was convicted as members of the audience wailed and were escorted out of the courtroom. Phoenix

Prosecutors repeatedly said that Jerice Hunter tried to make herself the victim by reporting Jhessye Shockley missing after she killed the 5-year-old.

A jury agreed Monday when it convicted Hunter of abusing and killing her daughter while Hunter was pregnant with another child.

The verdict was the culmination of a trial in which prosecutors were unable to produce an eyewitness to the killing or Jhessye's body. Although prosecutors said it was unclear when or how Hunter killed Jhessye, they said Hunter put the girl's body in a suitcase that she dumped in a Tempe garbage bin.

ROBERTS: Finally we come to Jhessye's aid, with justice

The jury of seven men and five women also determined there were several aggravating factors in the case that would merit a harsher penalty for Hunter when she is sentenced June 5.

One of those factors was that Hunter committed fraud against the community by reporting Jhessye missing on Oct. 11, 2011, an act that launched a national search for the girl whose kindergarten teacher described as an emerging leader.

Hunter, 41, faces a term of 35 years to life in prison for Jhessye's death.

Hunter has spent more than 960 days in jail since her September 2012 arrest and has maintained her innocence the entire time. Onlookers said she appeared stoic as the verdict was read, but her mother, Shirley Johnson, erupted, yelling that Jhessye "is not dead" before being ousted from the courtroom.

Outside the courtroom, Johnson said Hunter did not get a fair trial, and she accused Glendale police of not looking for Jhessye. She also railed against the state for not allowing her to take custody of Hunter's children, one of whom was a key witness against her mother.

"They kept them kids here to try and turn them against their mother," Johnson said. "If they was not little Black kids, they would not be treated like that."

A statement issued by the Glendale Police Department following the verdict pointed to the agency's months-long search for Jhessye, including the fruitless three-month dig at a landfill for the girl's body that involved more than 300 people from 14 law-enforcement agencies.

"We are pleased with the jury's decision today as it assures justice does prevail against an individual responsible for the unimaginable crime of murdering a child," the Glendale police statement said. "While the verdict provides some sense of satisfaction, it does not diminish the loss suffered by the family who loved Jhessye or lessen the tragedy a community endures when a child is murdered."

Jury members did not speak to the media following Monday's verdict, and neither did prosecutors Jeannette Gallagher or Blaine Gadow. Hunter's defense attorney, Candice Shoemaker, also was silent.

The case was handed to jurors last week. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Rosa Mroz used an alternate juror Monday morning to replace one dismissed because of medical issues. Mroz then ordered the panel to restart deliberations from the beginning. Hours later, they reached a decision.

When asked what message she wanted to give her daughter, Johnson said she would tell her, "Hold on, sister."

"You a soldier. Hold on," Johnson said. "God knows the truth. That baby is not dead."

Link to story: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2015/04/27/jerice-hunter-trial-juror-question-abrk/26457663/

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