18-month-old nephew of suspect’s girlfriend was found in landfill
DALLAS, TX – The man who confessed to police in July that he left a Dallas toddler in a dumpster now faces a murder charge in the boy’s death.
A grand jury indicted Sedrick Johnson in September on a capital murder charge in the death of Cedrick Jackson, the 18-month-old nephew of Johnson’s girlfriend.
Johnson has been in the Dallas County Jail since he was arrested in July. His bail is set at $1,003,000.
Cedrick’s disappearance July 10 triggered an Amber Alert before authorities found the boy’s remains the next day at a landfill on the boundary between Garland and Rowlett.
Johnson, the boyfriend of Cedrick’s aunt, confessed to police that he had put the toddler in a dumpster in northeast Dallas. Cedrick had been in his aunt’s care at that time, police had said previously.
Johnson told police that Cedrick had been swaddled in a blanket on the floor before he died, according to an arrest-warrant affidavit. He told police Cedrick had once “made a mess” with ketchup packets, so he began swaddling the 18-month-old tightly to prohibit his movement.
He told police he unwrapped Cedrick from the blanket after he heard him making noise around 12:30 a.m. The child began vomiting and became unresponsive, Johnson told police.
Johnson told police he gave Cedrick CPR for more than 30 minutes and that the child wasn’t moving but still had a heartbeat, according to the affidavit. After that, he drove to a dumpster and put Cedrick inside, he told police.
The capital murder indictment for Johnson says he intentionally caused the toddler’s death by “an unknown manner and means.” Johnson also was indicted on the injury to a child charge in September.
Johnson’s girlfriend, Chrystal Jackson, faces a charge of endangering a child in Cedrick’s death and disappearance.
In an arrest-warrant affidavit, police said Jackson lied to police for 19 hours about the amount of time she knew Cedrick was missing.
“Were it not for the actions and omissions by Suspect Jackson, law enforcement has every reason to believe the complainant could have been located, potentially alive, within hours of his removal from Suspect Jackson’s residence,” police wrote in the affidavit.
Jackson had called 911 early the morning of July 10, telling a dispatcher that her nephew had been abducted. She said only she, another child and Cedrick were home when a man entered the residence and took Cedrick, according to the warrant.
Police said Jackson repeatedly changed her story about when Cedrick went missing, according to the affidavit.
Police said she also sent “valuable witnesses” away from the location from which Cedrick went missing, referring to five other children who had been in the house at the time.
In forensic interviews, children in the home said they heard Cedrick crying in the early morning, and then “he stopped suddenly and disappeared,” police wrote in an affidavit.
Cedrick’s mother could not be reached for comment Monday. A few days after Johnson’s indictment, she wrote on Facebook that the boy’s aunt deserved the same charge as Johnson.
“You’re telling me this woman lied to y’all for over 19 hours when y’all could have possibly found my baby alive and the highest charge you can give her is child endangerment and her boyfriend gets capital murder,” DiShundra Thomas wrote.
Thomas said she wanted “proper and deserving justice” for her son.
Jackson, the aunt, has not been indicted on the child endangerment charge.
Body Of 18-Month-Old Cedric Jackson
Found In Landfill, Aunt’s Boyfriend
DALLAS, TX – Sedrick Deshun Johnson — the boyfriend of 18-month-old Cedric “C.J.” Jackson’s aunt — is in police custody in relation to the death of the little boy.
Police arrested the 27-year-old Thursday morning. He was charged with injury to a child, serious bodily injury. According to police, he confessed that he was at the apartment and moved Cedric’s body to a dumpster in northeast Dallas. Detectives learned that the dumpster was emptied twice since then.
According to the arrest affidavit, Johnson stated the 18-month-old “made a mess” with ketchup packets, and that he then tightly swaddled him to restrict his movement and placed him on the floor.
It was reported that around 12:30 a.m. July 10, Johnson unwrapped the little boy and he began to throw up and later became unresponsive.
Johnson told police after he attempted CPR in the bedroom for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, he drove Cedric to another location where he disposed of him in the dumpster.
During a forensic interview, one of the juvenile witnesses reported that Johnson would wrap Cedric too tightly, causing him to cry. The witness stated he heard Cedric crying late-night then stopped suddenly before he disappeared.
Jackson’s aunt, Crystal, stated she had woke up during the night and noticed that both Johnson and Cedric were missing. She then called Johnson and confronted him about why he wasn’t at the residence.
It is believed that Johnson caused serious bodily injury to Jackson by compressing his airway and failed to seek medical assistance.
Johnson’s prior criminal history includes abandoning and endangering a child with intent to return, prostitution, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Dallas police said in 2010, after arresting Johnson for prostitution, his daughter – who was 4 months old at the time – was found left alone in his apartment. Police said Johnson told them he had left her on the bed while he went to the store to get cigars.
Johnson got four years probation for the offense, which he later violated multiple times. Violations include testing positive for THC on several occasions, giving officers false information, resisting arrest.
Police found Cedric’s body in a landfill shortly after 11 a.m. He was taken to the coroner’s office where they will determine how and when he died.
Cedric was reported missing from the Twin Oaks Apartments, in the 9700 block of Whitehurst Drive, around 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Child Protective Services (CPS) recently gave his aunt temporary custody of Cedric for reasons that remain unclear. That woman told police she put the little boy to bed sometime after 11:00 p.m. Tuesday and he was gone the next morning when she woke up.
Before authorities began searching for Cedric’s remains, family members had expressed concern about the aunt’s claim since they say the woman slept next to the child, in the same bed.
Officials issued a statewide Amber Alert for Cedric Wednesday night.
His wife, Sini Mathews, quickly left the courthouse without commenting on the sentence. Originally charged with child abandonment, the registered nurse had her case dismissed earlier this year by prosecutors who said they couldn’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
Before his capital murder trial was to begin Monday, Mathews pleaded guilty to a lesser charge: injury to a child by omission. On Wednesday, he said he accepted whatever decision the jury came to for his punishment, even if it were a life sentence.
“I’m more than happy to take it,” he said Wednesday morning.
Life is precisely what prosecutors advocated for in closing arguments. They argued that Mathews built a public persona of a good father, but ultimately failed to protect Sherin.
Fine accused Mathews of killing the girl and said the father acted out of anger because she wouldn’t finish the milk a doctor had prescribed for her nutrition. The father wanted to exert power over the girl, Fine said.
“He is a liar,” Fine said. “He had to be in control.”
Rafael De La Garza, Mathews’ attorney, defended his client against the murder accusation. He argued prosecutors couldn’t prove Mathews committed murder, otherwise he would have stood trial on that charge.
De La Garza contends that, by pleading guilty, Mathews was accepting responsibility for Sherin’s death, the result of his inaction when the child began to choke. The attorney fought against the perception that Mathews didn’t care about Sherin, and said his client will live with the consequences of her death for the rest of his life.
“You can see from the videos, you can see from the photos that they loved and adored Sherin,” De La Garza told the jury.
Photos and home videos played for the jury during the trial weren’t enough for Fine, however. He argued that Mathews showed his true colors with his behavior after Sherin’s death.
“Great guys and great dads, they don’t stick their daughters in trash bags and dump them in sewage drains,” Fine said.
A day before prosecutors and the defense rested their case Wednesday, Mathews took the witness stand Tuesday to describe the night the toddler died.
He told jurors that Sherin choked while drinking milk in the family’s garage but he didn’t call for emergency help or alert his wife — a registered nurse — because he was scared Child Protective Services would get involved.
Crippled by fear, Mathews testified, he put the girl’s body in a culvert, where it was found about two weeks later.
“I could not absorb what had happened. I could not believe that in a very quick time my child had gone from me,” Mathews said Tuesday. “I was really, really paralyzed.”
Mathews took the witness stand again Wednesday morning, when Fine grilled him on multiple inconsistencies between the account he told police and his testimony Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Mathews told the jury he brought the girl into the garage to see a new lawnmower to calm her down so she could drink her milk, and that he had played piano to pass the time — two things Fine said he never told police. Mathews also testified that he gave Sherin CPR, which Fine said also deviated from what he told police.
Nearly 50 Hollywood Actors Threaten To Boycott If ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Bill
“Thank You!!!! We Appreciate You Georgia”
Georgia lawmakers Friday turned aside threats from Hollywood celebrities and gave final legislative approval to a bill that would ban most abortions in the state.
One day after the Writers Guild of America threatened that Georgia would pay a steep fiscal price if the anti-abortion “heartbeat” bill wins final approval, a coalition of Hollywood celebrities joined with Alyssa Milano to warn that they, too, will push for the entertainment industry to flee the state if, as is likely, the bill becomes law.
A letter to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has been signed by nearly 50 stars including Alec Baldwin, Amy Schumer, Gabrielle Union, Rosie O’Donnell, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman, Essence Atkins, Uzo Aduba, Christina Applegate, Ben Stiller, Sean Penn, David Cross, Don Cheadle, Mia Farrow, Colin Hanks, Bradley Whitford and Amber Tamblyn, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
However, if the letter’s goal was to short-circuit the bill, that strategy failed.
On Friday, the Georgia House gave the bill final legislative passage by a 92-78 vote, one vote more than the bare minimum needed to pass.
Last week, Georgia’s Senate approved the law banning most abortions after six weeks from conception, the time at which a baby’s heart starts to beat. Kemp has indicated he would sign the bill if it cleared the legislature.
But the law has run afoul of what the celebrities will support.
“This dangerous and deeply-flawed bill mimics many others which have already been deemed unconstitutional,” the letter from the Hollywood celebrities read. “As men who identify as small-government conservatives, we remind you that government is never bigger than when it is inside a woman’s body or in her doctor’s office.
“This bill would remove the possibility of women receiving reproductive healthcare before most even know they are pregnant and force many women to undergo unregulated, hidden procedures at great risk to their health.”
The letter closed with a clear threat.
“We want to stay in Georgia,” it said. “We want to continue to support the wonderful people, businesses, and communities we have come to love in the Peachtree State. But we will not do so silently, and we will do everything in our power to move our industry to a safer state for women if H.B. 481 becomes law. You have a choice, gentlemen. We pray you make the right one.”
Many on Twitter suggested the actors leave Georgia’s policymaking to Georgians.
Hey @Alyssa_Milano Mother to mother, actress to actress, and as a proud Georgian, I’ve got some things to say to you. I’m incredibly proud of my home state and @GovKemp for taking a stand in the fight for life amidst backlash and dubious threats. https://t.co/dpwDFn6O70
— Ashley Bratcher (@_AshleyBratcher) March 28, 2019
Georgia is supposed to bow down to Hollywood extortionists? https://t.co/ebLpbWMvbG
— Wayne Dupree | 🎤 (@WayneDupreeShow) March 29, 2019
Hahahaha …maybe staying out of Georgia would the best thing for Georgia.. this is so ridiculous, Entertainers in their Hollywood BUBBLE thinking they truly could make an impact, an sway the working class majority with their diluted fantasies.. Stick to ENTERTAINMENT! Stupid 👎
— chris (@crbillie) March 29, 2019
Killing babies is bad for all business, ma’am. We have no interest here in Georgia of taking our 30 pieces of silver in exchange for what Hollywood is peddling, much more interested in standing up for Truth and Life 🙂
— Tom Kuipers (@TomKuipers) March 22, 2019
Republican State Rep. Trey Kelley was not intimidated.
“I think it’s sad that some will try to use the movie industry to stop good legislation in Georgia. But with any proposal I do — and I know many members of (the Republican) caucus — weigh the merits of the legislation, they don’t pay attention to what special-interest groups have to say about it,” he said, according to The Journal-Constitution.
State Rep. Ed Setzler, who sponsored the bill in the House, said the bill represented what “commonsense Georgians” were about.
“This bill recognizes the fundamental life of the child in the womb is worthy of legal protection and balances that basic right to life with the very different situations women find themselves in pregnancies,” he said.
But many Democrats were siding with Hollywood, including Stacey Abrams, who lost the governor’s race to Kemp last year.
The film industry is now integral to our economy. Ask the carpenters, hairdressers, caterers, electricians & artists from Senoia to Savannah who rely on these jobs to feed their families. For them, for us, Georgia isn’t Hollywood – it’s home. #gapol #HB481IsBadForBusiness
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) March 29, 2019
Mississippi recently passed a similar bill. “Heartbeat” legislation also has been proposed in Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina and Ohio.