Updated: Grand Jury Indicts Md. Mother in Death of Child Found i - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: Grand Jury Indicts Md. Mother in Death of Child Found in Swing

Posted: Updated:
Romechia Simms is pictured here with her son Ji-Aire, who was dead when she was found pushing him on a swing. (Photo: Mechia Simms via Facebook) Romechia Simms is pictured here with her son Ji-Aire, who was dead when she was found pushing him on a swing. (Photo: Mechia Simms via Facebook)

LaPLATA, Md. (AP)- A Maryland woman who was found pushing her dead son in a playground swing earlier this year has been indicted and charged with manslaughter and child abuse, authorities announced Monday.
    
At an arraignment Monday in Charles County Circuit Court, prosecutors said Romechia Simms, 24, of LaPlata, spent two entire days in a LaPlata playground pushing her 3-year-old son, Ji'Aire Donnell Lee.
    
Authorities say Lee died of dehydration and low body temperature while he was in the swing. Medical examiners ruled the death a homicide.
    
At Monday's arraignment, Simms objected when prosecutors declared her a danger and a flight risk, according to Kristen Ayers, a spokeswoman for the state's attorney.
    
"I'm not a risk to anybody," Simms said, before her public defender advised her to be quiet. "I didn't even mean for this to happen."
    
Prosecutors said Simms' mental state is in question and they wanted her held while she receives another evaluation.
    
Sheriff's deputies found the toddler dead in the swing the morning of May 22 after receiving a call that a woman had been pushing a child in the swing at odd hours. State's Attorney Anthony Covington said Monday that police found Lee's jacket in the trash, and his shoes off his feet, filled with rain water.
    
A judge ordered Simms held, with bond set at $150,000, and scheduled a January trial date. She faces up to 45 years in prison - 30 years on first-degree child abuse, 10 years on the manslaughter charge and 5 years on a charge of child neglect.
    
Family members have said Simms was suffering from mental illness. She was hospitalized after the death of her son.
    
Earlier this year, the boy's father petitioned a District of Columbia court for custody of his son, saying Simms was behaving erratically and jumped out of a moving taxicab with Ji'Aire.
    
In court papers, Simms acknowledged she had had a mental breakdown but insisted she was doing better.
    
"This breakdown that I had was the first that I have ever had in my life and I truly believe it was from an extreme amount of stress weighing heavy on me. I am now in a much better productive space," she wrote in a letter to the judge.
    
In May, just days before Ji'Aire's death, a judge ordered the two to share custody, and court records indicate both Simms and the boy's father agreed to the arrangement.
    
Wills Memorial Park, where Ji'Aire died, is visible from the road but bordered on one side by woods in the town of La Plata, about 30 miles southeast of Washington.
    
Court records in Charles County show a history of domestic disputes between Simms and her mother, Vontasha Simms. In those court papers, at one point it appears that Vontasha Simms also considered seeking custody of Ji'Aire Lee, but scratched out the paperwork that would have formalized the request.
    
In court papers, Vontasha wrote that her daughter "attacked me before jumping on me and hitting me while I was sitting on my bed. ... She was very angry and out of control."
    
In one of the cases, Romechia Simms wrote a letter to the court explaining the stress she was under.
    
"Between being a mom, work and school I have a load on my hands," she wrote.
    
She told court officers she was working as a barista in Starbucks and attending classes at Bowie State University.
    
The family had been living at the Deluxe Inn motel in La Plata, not far from the park, for several weeks before Ji'Aire died. Residents and a housekeeper described constant fighting between the grandmother and mother, and said the boy seemed to be mistreated at times.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • 'Ghost Pots' Hurting Chesapeake Bay's Blue Crab Population

    'Ghost Pots' Hurting Chesapeake Bay's Blue Crab Population

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 10:28 AM EDT2017-05-24 14:28:22 GMT
    Wednesday, May 24 2017 11:13 PM EDT2017-05-25 03:13:21 GMT

    Crabbing season is well underway, and that means hundreds of thousands of crab pots are in the Chesapeake Bay catching blue crabs. However, many of those pots can quickly become "ghost" pots, sinking to the bottom of the bay and taking millions of crabs with them. These ghost pots have been a problem in the bay for decades, diminishing the crab population, and potentially costing watermen millions of dollars.

    More

    Crabbing season is well underway, and that means hundreds of thousands of crab pots are in the Chesapeake Bay catching blue crabs. However, many of those pots can quickly become "ghost" pots, sinking to the bottom of the bay and taking millions of crabs with them. Those ghost pots have been a problem in the bay for decades, diminishing the crab population, and potentially costing watermen millions of dollars.

    More
  • Two Men Shot While Filming Rap Video in Dover

    Two Men Shot While Filming Rap Video in Dover

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 6:34 PM EDT2017-05-24 22:34:18 GMT
    Wednesday, May 24 2017 11:15 PM EDT2017-05-25 03:15:06 GMT

    The Dover Police Department says two people were hurt in an afternoon shooting in the Capitol Green neighborhood. 

    More

    The Dover Police Department says two people were hurt in an afternoon shooting in the Capitol Green neighborhood. 

    More
  • Laurel Police Looking for a Shoplifting Suspect

    Laurel Police Looking for a Shoplifting Suspect

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 9:11 PM EDT2017-05-25 01:11:59 GMT
    Wednesday, May 24 2017 11:14 PM EDT2017-05-25 03:14:36 GMT

    The Laurel Police Department is currently investigating a shoplifting incident at a Royal Farms. 

    More

    The Laurel Police Department is currently investigating a shoplifting incident at a Royal Farms. 

    More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Four Arrested, Two Wanted After Two Month Investigation

    Four Arrested, Two Wanted After Two Month Investigation

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 3:43 PM EDT2017-05-24 19:43:47 GMT
    Wednesday, May 24 2017 11:07 PM EDT2017-05-25 03:07:35 GMT
    Shamarr Willingham and Anthony Daniels are wanted for drug and weapons offenses.Shamarr Willingham and Anthony Daniels are wanted for drug and weapons offenses.

    The Dover Police Department wrapped up a two month investigation with the arrest of four suspects and charges pending for two suspects on drug and weapons offenses. 

    More

    The Dover Police Department wrapped up a two month investigation with the arrest of four suspects and charges pending for two suspects on drug and weapons offenses. ..

    More
  • Laurel Police Looking for a Shoplifting Suspect

    Laurel Police Looking for a Shoplifting Suspect

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 9:11 PM EDT2017-05-25 01:11:59 GMT
    Wednesday, May 24 2017 11:14 PM EDT2017-05-25 03:14:36 GMT

    The Laurel Police Department is currently investigating a shoplifting incident at a Royal Farms. 

    More

    The Laurel Police Department is currently investigating a shoplifting incident at a Royal Farms. 

    More
  • 5 Arrested in Kent County Human Trafficking Case

    5 Arrested in Kent County Human Trafficking Case

    Monday, May 22 2017 4:59 PM EDT2017-05-22 20:59:41 GMT
    Monday, May 22 2017 11:08 PM EDT2017-05-23 03:08:51 GMT

    The Delaware State Police, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Delaware Department of Justice, arrested five people in connection with a human trafficking case. 

    More

    The Delaware State Police, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Delaware Department of Justice, arrested five people in connection with a human trafficking case. 

    More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Cruisin' Leaves it's Mark on Ocean City

    Cruisin' Leaves it's Mark on Ocean City

    You can see the skid marks on the roads of Seaside Village in West Ocean City.

    Marks that remind residents who live there of the chaos that occurred last weekend.

    Terri Wilson who lives in one of the condo's at Seaside Village said, "Now it's just you go to the coastal highway or even here on our personal streets to see them do wheeleys and destroying our streets.

    More

    You can see the skid marks on the roads of Seaside Village in West Ocean City.

    Marks that remind residents who live there of the chaos that occurred last weekend.

    Terri Wilson who lives in one of the condo's at Seaside Village said, "Now it's just you go to the coastal highway or even here on our personal streets to see them do wheeleys and destroying our streets.

    More
  • Harbor Seal Sighting in Felton Becomes Viral Video

    Harbor Seal Sighting Becomes Viral Video

    A harbor seal was spotted at Coursey Pond in Felton, Delaware. WBOC's Madeleine Overturf spoke to Chris Lambert, the man who shot the video of it. Environmentalists searching for it named the seal "Philomena."

    More

    A harbor seal was spotted at Coursey Pond in Felton, Delaware. WBOC's Madeleine Overturf spoke to Chris Lambert, the man who shot the video of it. Environmentalists searching for it named the seal "Philomena."

    More
  • Locals React to Cruisin' Ocean City

    Locals React to Cruisin' Ocean City

    Thousands of cars rumbled into Ocean City for Cruisin' OC but not everyone was thrilled about it.

    For 27 years unique cars have traveled from hundreds of miles away to drive up and down the streets of Ocean City.

    While this event might be a big attraction for people who aren't from Delmarva, not everyone gets revved up for the weekend.Locals said that over the past few years the noise and the smell has gotten to be a little too much.

    More

    Thousands of cars rumbled into Ocean City for Cruisin' OC but not everyone was thrilled about it.

    For 27 years unique cars have traveled from hundreds of miles away to drive up and down the streets of Ocean City.

    While this event might be a big attraction for people who aren't from Delmarva, not everyone gets revved up for the weekend.Locals said that over the past few years the noise and the smell has gotten to be a little too much.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices