Teen rescuers: Mother of drowned boys needs mercy, not charges

Published 6:41 am Friday, March 22, 2019

Two Mississippi teenagers who helped rescue a toddler as her mother’s vehicle was sinking in a creek say they are glad a judge has dropped charges against the woman, whose other two children drowned as the unattended vehicle slipped underwater.

Bobby Johnson, the fire chief in the small town of Leland where the children died March 9, also says he agrees with the judge’s decision to drop charges against 25-year-old Jenea Monique Payne.

Four students at Riverside High School in the Mississippi Delta — 18-year-old C.J. Holland, 17-year-old twins Jacob Humphrey and Seth Humphrey and 15-year-old Austin McNemar — worked together to rescue 2-year-old Raelynn Johnson.

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Mississippi lawmakers honored the teens Thursday.

Holland and Jacob Humphrey say they agree with judge’s dropping the negligent homicide and child neglect charges.