Mother, boyfriend charged in death of 4-year-old

Published 4:18 pm Friday, June 7, 2019

Natchez police have arrested and charged two people in connection to the Wednesday death of 4-year-old Armani Hill and the hospitalization of her 3-year-old sister.

Friday afternoon during a press conference at the Natchez Police Department, Police Chief Walter Armstrong said the children’s mother, Lakeshia Jones, 25, is charged with two counts of child deprivation of necessities with substantial harm and received a bond of $500,000 while her boyfriend, James Christopher Anderson, 24, is charged with two counts of felony abuse and did not receive a bond.

Armstrong said Jones left her children in Anderson’s care at 1401 Lafayette St. Tuesday and Wednesday while she was at work and told investigators the children were fine when she left for work Wednesday morning.

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Later that day, Anderson walked with the girls a quarter of a mile from the residence on Lafayette Street to Holiday Apartments, Armstrong said, during which time the girls were badly injured and one of them had trouble walking.

At approximately 11 a.m., Armstrong said Natchez police officers responded to an ambulance call at 601 Washington Road, where they stopped a private vehicle carrying what appeared to be a very sick child.

Armstrong said Hill had been moved from a private vehicle to an ambulance and both girls were then transported to Merit Health Natchez Hospital in separate vehicles.

Adams County Coroner James Lee pronounced Hill dead at the hospital at 12:35 p.m. Wednesday and the three-year-old girl had been transported to University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson with severe injuries and was still being treated as of Friday afternoon.

Armstrong said police at the hospital Wednesday immediately recognized that the children were abused and took both Jones and Anderson into custody for questioning, but neither were charged with any crime until Friday.