Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Custodial dad, step arrested in death of 4-year-old daughter (Jacksonville, Florida)

Yet another Florida custodial father arrested in the violent death of a child. Dad is identified as JOHN ROSS NORFLEET.


Father, stepmom arrested in 4-year-old's death

Father, stepmom face charges after 4-year-old's death.
Jessica Clark reports. First Coast News,  7:20 p.m. EST February 2, 2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A father and stepmom face felony charges after their 4-year-old child died of injuries authorities say are connected to child abuse.

John Ross Norfleet, 31, and Shavonn Chanyell Nortfleet, 33, each face two counts of aggravated child abuse after their child was pronounced dead at Wolfson Children's Hospital Friday night, according to arrest reports.

Firefighters and paramedics called police to the couple's home about 8:50 p.m. that night, saying they were taking the child to the hospital with injuries "possibly caused by child abuse," their reports said.

Family members tell First Coast News the 4-year-old's name was Jada. A string of videos on YouTube posted by her father show a happy little girl, dancing, climbing into bed, living in a clean, neat home, and nurtured by a doting father.

The case is a shock to many. A long-time family friend of Shavonn Norfleet in Michigan said there is no way she could hurt a child. He said she has worked with children at church and loved kids.

John Norfleet is a math teacher at Andrew Jackson High School, according to the Duval Public School System. Family members say Jada was his daughter from a former marriage.

The Department of Children and Families is investigating. John Harrell with DCF said, "Regarding if there was any past history, there was not. We had not been notified, the Department of Children and Families, regarding concerns about this particular child. In about 70 percent of all child abuse death cases, DCF was never contacted."

Jada's mother, Cheryl Norfleet, lives in Michigan and relatives say she is struggling with the news. An online records search shows that in 2011, she was convicted of child abuse and served two years in prison. The incident happened in 2009, which appears to be before Jada was born.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Children and Families are investigating the 4-year-old's death. John Norfleet is being held in Duval County Jail on $700,000 bond. His wife, meanwhile, is being held on $500,000 bond. Both are due in court Feb. 23, jail records show.

Editor's Note: First Coast News does not typically reveal the identities of abuse victims, in order to protect them and their futures. Sadly, in this case, the child has died and the videos underscore the severity of the case.