Charges dropped against mom in death of toddler son
Criminal charges were dismissed Friday against a Detroit mom who “snapped” and fled to a psychiatric clinic before her toddler son was found dead in her bed nearly two years ago.
Judge William McConico, of 36th District Court in Detroit, found Deanna Shanta Minor again incompetent to stand trial in the death of her 3-year-old son Aaron.
“The case was dismissed and (Minor) remains in the Forensic Center,” Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, said Friday. “When the psychiatrists have evaluated the defendant and have determined that the person will not regain competence to stand trial, the case is dismissed. It then goes to the probate court for civil commitment proceedings. If the person later regains competence, the charges can be filed again and the person can stand trial.”
Minor also was found incompetent in November 2016 to stand trial in her child’s death.
Aaron Minor’s decomposing body was found around 2:40 p.m. May 25, 2016 in Minor’s apartment in the 4400 block of Trumbull in the Woodbridge neighborhood.
Police said the mother was found in a Downriver crisis center after her son’s body was found. The boy’s death was ruled a homicide by the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office. The cause of death was unknown.
Deanna Minor was charged with felony murder (child abuse), second-degree murder, first- and second-degree child abuse, and failure to report a dead body.
A maintenance worker in the apartment complex, near Wayne State University, discovered the child’s body after a foul odor drew his attention. There were no signs of trauma inside the mother’s apartment, authorities said.
Deanna Minor’s relatives say she was hospitalized because she was suffering from depression but that they was working out her problems with a local social service agency.
“Deanna had some problems, but social services was supposed to be working with her,” Minor’s grandmother, Beverly Mylum, said in a Detroit News interview not long after the child’s death. “She was a loving and giving mother. I didn’t see any signs of abuse.
“She was going through depression for a very long time. She just snapped. She was quiet. I have no knowledge of alcohol or drugs.”
Aaron Minor was described as an average toddler who was always well-groomed. The boy’s father, according to authorities, has been incarcerated for a long time.
Two social workers, Elaina Brown and Kelly Williams both Wayne County residents, also were charged in Aaron Minor’s death. Brown and Williams, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, were grossly negligent and reckless in connection with their treatment of the case involving the boy and his mother.
The more serious charges of manslaughter and child abuse, both felonies, were dismissed against Brown and Williams in January 2017 by 36th District Court Judge Kenneth King. The women face trial next month in 36th District Court on a charge of willful neglect of duty, a misdemeanor.
Authorities said the social workers failed to perform a “legal” duty to protect the well-being of the child. But lawyers for the workers said they followed protocol and did everything they could to protect the child.