Leader Blues

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

TOP STORY > >Girlfriend accused in death

By NANCY DOCKTER
Leader staff writer

Two Jacksonville women remain in jail as they await trial on felony charges related to the abuse of their children and a Sherwood man is out on bail as he awaits trial for capital murder in the death of a Jacksonville toddler.

Nicole Lloyd, 20, has been charged with capital murder in the death of her boyfriend's son, Joseph Clyde “Jojo” Roberts, who passed away Sept. 15 at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, where he had been hospitalized since mid-May with severe injuries sustained while in the care of Lloyd.

Lloyd initially told authorities that she found the boy lying unconscious in front of his dresser and believed that he fell and was injured. She later signed a statement to Jacksonville police confessing to battering the child. She has pled not guilty.

Jojo Roberts’ funeral was last Saturday.

He is survived by his father, Jay Roberts of Jacksonville; three brothers; grand-parents; great-grandparents, and a large extended family.

Manuella Roberts, 25, is in Pulaski County Jail in lieu of a $50,000 bond. She is charged with three counts of first-degree battery for the alleged physical abuse of her daughter and son in July.

She twice fractured her son’s skull while his unconscious sister was undergoing care in the hospital for injuries, according to a police report.

A CT scan detected the boy had sustained two skull fractures. Arkansas Children’s Hospital physicians told the police that the fractures were not consistent with injuries from an accident.

Her son was a year old and her daughter was 7 months old at the time.

Whitfield told police that she often took her anger out on her children.

She admitted to shaking and beating them, as well as other forms of abuse, to the point that they lost consciousness.

A pre-trial hearing for Whit-field is scheduled for Dec. 22 in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

Lekedrin Smith of Sherwood is out on bail as he awaits trial next year for capital murder in the death on July 1 of 2-year-old Braylon Alexander.

Smith was babysitting the 2-year-old boy when he received a severe head injury.

His mother, Delois Alexander of Jacksonville, was at work at the time. Smith told investigators that the boy was hurt when he fell from the porch.

A physician’s report stated that the child had multiple injuries to the head, back, and abdomen, including “a high force injury” to the head, which was not consistent with a fall.

A date for Smith’s trial has not been set, but is expected in early 2009.