This morning, I received news about not one but two cases I’ve been following on the blog since 2020, and in both cases, I ended up in tears.
First, I learned that the mother of five-year-old Kylie Mickens, the Georgia girl with the rare chromosome disorder 1p36 deletion syndrome who died from dehydration and malnutrition on June 8, 2020, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and child cruelty yesterday and received a sentence of 20 years probation. No prison time… just probation.
Kylie’s father, Jerrail Mickens, who had also faced a felony murder charge along with his wife, died in November of 2021 in a motorcycle crash while out on bail.
In other words: Kylie did not get justice.
Now, while seeking updates on other cases I’ve been following, I stumbled across some information on the Ouachita Parish (Louisiana) court portal this morning that made me want to crawl into bed and stay there indefinitely.
Ten-month-old RosaLee Foster smothered to death in her mother’s bed on March 12, 2020, trapped beneath the legs of her drug-addled mom, 28-year-old Heather Lucille Hall. Heather, whose mugshot is one of the worst jump scares I’ve ever seen, was given a field urine analysis by Child Protective Services investigators at the scene and tested positive for meth, marijuana, amphetamines, and ecstasy. How this woman managed to sleep on that cocktail is beyond me, but she did — hard enough that she couldn’t be awakened by the squirming and thrashing of her precious baby girl as she asphyxiated beneath Heather’s legs.
Heather, the mother of anywhere between six and ten children, was charged with second-degree murder, although she was indicted in June of 2020 on a charge of felony negligent homicide. She was initially held without bail, but after her indictment, the court set her bail at $25,000, which she posted and was released.
In June of 2021, Heather was once again arrested for failure to appear in court to face her negligent homicide charge, and she was once again released on bail. Nice revolving door you’ve got there, Ouachita Parish!
Oh, and by the way: as of January of 2022, Heather had managed to get knocked up yet again.
After a series of court hearings, Heather was seen in court on Monday, April 18, 2022, at which time she pleaded guilty to the negligent homicide of her infant daughter, RosaLee DeNiece Foster, and was sentenced to a paltry slap on the wrist:
- 4.5 years of hard labor (sentence suspended, meaning no prison time)
- 6 months in the Ouachita Parish jail (with credit for time served, so she won’t have to set foot in jail again)
- 3 years supervised probation
- Substance abuse evaluation and treatment if recommended
- Parenting classes
- Pay $100 each to the Criminal Court Fund, the Indigent Defender Board, and the Drug Abuse Education & Treatment Fund
And… that’s it. That’s what passes for justice for RosaLee, a smiley little girl who shared a birthday with her daddy, Royce Foster Sr., who was so heartbroken by his daughter’s death that he moved out of the area entirely. With his help, I hope to tell RosaLee’s story on Suffer the Little Children Podcast at some point in the future.
Even if the Louisiana justice system failed RosaLee, we will not let her memory fade. Rest in peace, sweet baby.
Sources: Ouachita Parish Clerk of Court portal