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Entries in Jahessye Shockley (3)

Friday
Sep072012

Mom of Missing Arizona Girl Charged with Murder

Hemera/Thinkstock(GLENDALE, Ariz.) -- The mother of Jahessye Shockley, a 5-year-old Arizona girl who has been missing for nearly a year, was arrested and charged with felony child abuse and first-degree murder for her daughter's death.

"For the past 11 months, the men and women of the Glendale Police Department and our partners from local, state and federal law enforcement worked tirelessly to accomplish two goals: to find Jahessye and to hold the person responsible for her disappearance accountable," Glendale Chief of Police Debora Black said in a statement.

They have yet to find Jahessye, but Black said authorities were confident they would achieve their second goal with the arrest of Jerice Hunter on Thursday.

Shockley was first reported missing nearly a year ago on Oct. 11, 2011. After an initial investigation and an extensive search, Hunter was arrested on Nov. 21 on suspicion of child abuse. She was later released and no charges were filed.

Authorities are tight-lipped about what evidence led to this week's arrest and charges.

"[The] investigation has turned up information and evidence of varying kinds and when it was re-submitted to our office for review, we felt that there was enough evidence there to support the charges handed up in the indictment," Maricopa County Attorney spokesman Jerry Cobb told ABC News Friday.

"I can't get into any specifics about the nature or type of evidence," he said.

Hunter's attorney Scott Maasen takes issue with the lack of transparency in the alleged evidence against his client.

"They don't have a body. They haven't found Jahessye," he said. "When you have a case where it takes that much time, it really calls into question the believability, the reliability, of whatever type of evidence they have."

Maasen that he met with Hunter in jail and that she is "in good spirits, considering the circumstances."

"She has maintained her innocence from day one when she reported her missing almost a year ago," Maasen said. "In every conversation I've had with her, she's been steadfast in that."

He is "confident" that Hunter will be exonerated once he receives the evidence in the case.

Investigators did not find Shockleys' body after a four-month search of the Butterfield Station Landfill in Mobile, but maintain that her body is in a landfill.

Jahessye was last seen by her three older siblings at their apartment building while Hunter said she was out running an errand. She said she left her three older children doing chores in the backyard and locked Jahessye inside so she would be safe.

Hunter's four other children, ages 6, 9, 13 and an infant, are in state custody, according to authorities.

Hunter's criminal history of allegedly abusing her children drew public suspicion to what role, if any, she might have played in her daughter's disappearance.

Hunter was charged with child abuse in 2006. According to court documents, Hunter was "accused of torturing her 7-year-old daughter and of causing corporal injuries to three of her other children" in California. Her children told police that Hunter would punch them and whip them, sometimes using extension cords.

Maasen said that the children later changed their stories.

Police said Hunter's ex-husband George Shockley also participated in the alleged abuse. He is currently in prison following his conviction as a sex offender.

Convicted of four counts of child abuse in the 2006 case, Hunter was sentenced to eight years in a California prison and lost an appeal. Prosecutors dropped the torture charges in exchange for a plea of no contest, according to ABC's Phoenix affiliate KNXV-TV. However, it is unclear why Hunter was released early from prison.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov212011

Missing Arizona Girl Jahessye Shockley: Mother Arrested

Thinkstock/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- The police and FBI served a second search warrant on the Arizona apartment complex of Jerice Hunter, the mother of missing 5-year-old Jahessye Shockley, who disappeared from the residential building on Oct. 11. Police then placed Hunter under arrest.

Glendale Police Department spokeswoman Tracey Breeden told ABC News that according to information authorities have received but cannot disclose, “It’s highly unlikely we’ll find Jahessye alive.”

“We have not located Jahessye yet,” Breeden said. “We can’t speak about details, because this case is not closed. It’s still an ongoing investigation.”

Breeden said that all the police leads related to possible sightings of Jahessye, or to information that another relative had taken her, had led to dead ends. Conversely, all “substantial” leads have led back to the apartment complex and to Hunter.

“We have offered the polygraph and to this date, [Hunter] has not cooperated with us in regards to polygraphs,” Breeden said.

Jahessye was last seen by her three older siblings at their apartment building just over a month ago, while Hunter said she was out running an errand. She said she left her three older children doing chores in the backyard and locked Jahessye inside so she would be safe.

Hunter’s four other children, ages 6, 9, 13 and a newborn, are in state custody, according to Breeden.

Family members had previously criticized the police investigation and were angry that the case had not garnered national media attention, especially when compared to the case of missing 1-year-old Lisa Irwin in Kansas City.

But Hunter’s criminal history of allegedly abusing her children had drawn public suspicion to what role, if any, she might have played in her daughter’s disappearance.

Hunter was charged with child abuse in 2006 (according to court documents, Hunter was “accused of torturing her 7-year-old daughter and of causing corporal injuries to three of her other children”) in California. Her children told police that Hunter would punch them and whip them, sometimes using extension cords.

Police said Hunter’s ex-husband George Shockley also participated in the alleged abuse. He is currently in prison following his conviction as a sex offender.

Convicted of four counts of child abuse in the 2006 case, Hunter was sentenced to eight years in a California prison and lost an appeal. Prosecutors dropped the torture charges in exchange for a plea of no contest, according to ABC’s Phoenix affiliate KNXV-TV. However, it is unclear why Hunter was released early from prison.

The reward for information leading to Jahessye has been increased to $25,000.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct252011

Missing Arizona Girl's Family Demands Attention

Glendale Police Department(PHOENIX) -- The family of missing Phoenix 5-year-old Jahessye Shockley marched to Arizona's State Capitol building on Monday in an attempt to get state officials involved in the search for the little girl who has been missing since Oct. 11.

Family members have criticized the police investigation and are angry that the case has not garnered national media attention, especially compared to the case of missing 11-month-old Lisa Irwin in Kansas City, Mo.

Shockley's family members have also said that the lack of attention to her disappearance is an issue of race.  Authorities vehemently deny that race has played any part in the investigation.

"Certainly from the police department perspective, nothing could be further from the truth," Sgt. Brent Coombs, public information officer for the Glendale Police Department, told ABC News.  "This is all about a beautiful little girl missing, no matter what color or nationality.  It doesn't make a bit of difference to us.  We'd be working the same way."

Shockley was last seen by her three older siblings -- ages 6, 9 and 12 -- at their apartment nearly two weeks ago while their mother, Jerice Hunter, said she was out running an errand.  She said she left her three older children doing chores in the backyard and locked Shockley inside so she would be safe.

"I locked the door when I left," Hunter said in an interview with Peas in Their Pods, a non-profit that helps people find missing loved ones.  "When I got back the door was unlocked when I put my key in the door."

Shockley was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans, with her hair up in long ponytail.  She is African-American, stands at approximately 3 feet 5 inches tall, weighs 55 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes

Meanwhile, Hunter's criminal history of allegedly abusing her children has drawn public suspicion to what role, if any, she might have played in her daughter's disappearance.  Court documents from 2006 reveal that Hunter was "accused of torturing her 7-year-old daughter and of causing corporal injuries to three of her other children" in California.

Police said Hunter's ex-husband George Shockley also participated in the alleged abuse.  He is currently in prison after being convicted as a sex offender.

Hunter was sentenced to eight years in a California prison in 2006 and lost an appeal.  Prosecutors dropped the torture charges in exchange for a plea of no contest, according to ABC's Phoenix affiliate KNXV-TV.  However, it is unclear why Hunter was released early from prison.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio