Child Abuse and CSC Charges Dropped
Crystal Shelton-Randolph, a mother of twin toddlers in Flint, recently accepted a plea bargain, in which she will sentenced for murder after pleading no contest. In return, a first degree child abuse charge was dropped, along with a first degree criminal sexual conduct charge.
The circumstances that led to this tragic turn of events started in September, when Shelton-Randolph’s 2-year-old daughter, Ja’Mya, was taken to the hospital for breathing complications. She died later that day, and the cause of death was ruled as “undeterminable”, because the medical examiner could not be certain of the cause.
But two months later, police were called to Shelton-Randolph’s apartment due to an unresponsive child. This time, it was Ja’Mya’s twin brother, Jordan. When officers arrived on the scene, Shelton-Randolph was performing CPR. The little boy was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.
The autopsy revealed that the boy died of blunt force trauma. It was also revealed that he had been sexually penetrated with a “foreign object”, and that the injuries were very recent. As a result, Shelton-Randolph was charged with first degree felony murder, first degree criminal sexual conduct, and first degree child abuse. All three charges are felonies under MIchigan law, and would have earned her a lifetime behind bars upon conviction.
After the charges were brought, the medical examiner revisited the autopsy reports from Ja’Mya’s death, and decided that the true cause of death was homicide from asphyxia due to suffocation. When Shelton-Randolph was confronted with this evidence, she admitted to smothering the girl by covering her mouth and pinching her nose closed.
As a result, the prosecutor’s office brought a second set of charges against her, including felony murder and first degree child abuse. But these charges were quickly dismissed, when a judge determined that there was not sufficient evidence to send her to trial on her daughter’s death.
Shelton-Randolph has decided, however, to plead no contest to first degree murder. The reason, according to the prosecutor’s office, for making the offer to begin with, was to bring some closure to the family. In addition, a plea bargain would eliminate any chance of an appeal in the future. Apparently Shelton-Randolph’s family is in favor of the plea agreement.
The sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 23rd in the Genesee County Circuit Court.