A 26-year-old mother in South Carolina will spend decades behind bars for killing her disabled 4-year-old daughter. friend three years ago.
State Circuit Court Judge Eugene C. Griffith, Jr. on Tuesday ordered Jackleen Elizabeth Mullen to serve a 30-year sentence in a state correctional facility for the gruesome murder of young India Heavenly Lacey Martin, according to Law&Crime verified court records show.
Judge Griffith handed down the sentence after a York County jury found Mullen guilty of murder by child abuse. Mullen was also convicted of accessory to murder by child abuse in the death of her daughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison, but Judge Griffith ordered the sentences to be served concurrently, so concurrently.
However, the jury concluded that Mullen was not guilty of murder, which could have resulted in a life sentence.
Mullen, who must serve at least 85% of her sentence under state law, also had just over three years served while awaiting trial, meaning the earliest she can be released is about 22 years after the guilty verdict.
Mullens’ then-boyfriend Audrevious Williams is also charged with murder by child abuse and accessory to murder by child abuse. He testified against Mullens during her trial.
According to a report According to the Times Herald-Record, Mullen’s daughter had special needs and was unable to speak or walk without assistance. A medical examiner determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
When the little girl was first reported missing, police reportedly went to the home where Mullen and Williams lived with India to question them about the child’s whereabouts. Mullen reportedly lied to investigators and told them that her daughter was staying with a relative named Cindy in North Carolina, when in fact the little girl’s body had already been stashed in an upstairs dresser drawer.
In May 2020, police discovered India’s body in the dresser drawer.
According to a report, body camera footage worn by police during the trial showed the interaction between an officer and Mullen before India’s body was found report from Charlotte, North Carolina, NBC affiliate WCNC.
“You want to go to prison for murder,” the officer reportedly asked Mullen in the footage. “Where is the child? She’s dead and we know it.”
“My child is not dead,” Mullen responded in the footage, adding, “My child is at home with Cindy.”
Prosecutors also emphasized that Mullen came to police headquarters and admitted her guilt in a separate forgery case while still lying about the fact that her daughter was dead, the Herald-Record reported.
“While her child was dead in her home, Ms. Mullen came here to the Moss Justice Center and pleaded guilty to this forgery,” John Anthony, assistant attorney for the 16th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, reportedly told the court before Mullen’s sentencing.
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