Girl, 9, Dies After 325-Pound Cousin Sat on Her: Cops

64-year-old arrested for homicide, child cruelty; child's parents also arrested
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2017 8:21 AM CDT

A 9-year-old girl was allegedly killed by her adult cousin, a 325-pound woman accused of sitting on the child to punish her for misbehaving, the AP reports. Per the Pensacola News Journal, Dericka Lindsay was pronounced dead Saturday after an incident at the home of her parents, Grace Smith, 69, and James Smith, 62. Grace Smith's arrest report notes that she says she was having trouble disciplining Dericka, so she phoned her niece, 64-year-old Veronica Green Posey, to help her out. When Posey arrived, Grace Smith says her niece hit Dericka with a metal pipe and a ruler, and when Dericka ran into an armchair, Posey followed the child and sat on top of her. James Smith told cops Posey sat on Dericka for 10 minutes, at which point Dericka said she couldn't breathe. Posey reportedly remained sitting for two more minutes after that, and when she stood up, she saw Dericka wasn't moving.

A 911 call brought paramedics to the home, and Dericka was transported to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Posey, who told a deputy from the Escambia County Sheriff's Office that Dericka had been "out of control," was arrested and charged with homicide and child cruelty. The Smiths were charged with neglect for not reporting the abuse, and Grace Smith was also hit with a child cruelty charge. A rep from the Florida Department of Children and Families told the News Journal that his agency had had at least one interaction with this family before, that Dericka's death was "appalling," and that they'd be working with the sheriff's office "to hold anyone responsible for her death accountable." Posey was released on $125,000 bail; the Smiths are still in jail, per court records. (More Florida stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.