Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Custodial dad, step appear in court for beating death of 4-year-old daughter (Duval County, Florida)

We've reported on custodial dad JOHN NORFLEET before. The mother lives out of state.

Updated: 10:57 a.m. Wednesday, March 4, 2015 | Posted: 7:56 a.m. Wednesday, March 4, 2015 Former teacher, wife appeared in court for death of daughter

John and Shavonn Norfleet face charges in the death of a 4-year-old girl.
Father accused of killing 4-year-old awarded full custody of child 3 years ago
Police say 4-year-old girl was abused months before death
Students talk about teacher accused of murdering 4-year-old
Family of local couple arrested for murder and child abuse, says it's a mistake

DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. — The parents of a slain 4-year-old girl say they are not responsible for her death.

Jada Norfleet was the daughter of a former teacher at Andrew Jackson High School.

Police say her dad and stepmom beat her repeatedly with a plank of wood until she went into cardiac arrest.

Shavonn Norfleet, 33, was the first to face Judge Russell early Wednesday morning.

Shackled by her hands and feet, she stood still as her attorney entered a plea of not guilty.

She’s accused of beating her stepdaughter 4-year-old Jada Norfleet with a piece of lumber until she went into cardiac arrest and died.

Police say the abuse went on for months at the family’s apartment home in the Southside.

She’s been formally charged with second-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter of a child and aggravated child abuse.

Her husband and Jada’s biological father, John Norfleet, 31, is facing the same charges.

He was a math teacher at Andrew Jackson High School, a popular teacher, according to students.

Norfleet, standing next to his public defender, also was shackled by his hands and feet.

He too pleaded not guilty.

But before leaving the courtroom, you could see officers taking a sample of his DNA.

The case now moves to pre-trial where a series of hearings will need to take place before the actual trial begins.

The next time the couple will be in court is late March.