Attorney argues medical condition prevented girl from gaining weight
A Buford-area couple charged with murder and child cruelty in the death of their 5-year-old daughter were released from jail after a bond hearing in Hall County on Wednesday.
Jerrail Maurice Mickens, 31, and Porscha Danielle Mickens, 29, were arrested in late October, four months after the little girl died.
Kylie Mickens weighed just 7 pounds this past summer when she was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton, Hall County deputies said previously. She was flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, but died the next day.
The couple were charged after an autopsy conducted by the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office determined Kylie died as a result of malnutrition and dehydration due to medical neglect, authorities said. But defense attorney Corinne Mull said the child was born with a chromosomal deficiency that made it difficult for her to eat and drink, and prevented her from gaining weight.
Mull said Kylie suffered from 1p36 deletion syndrome, a rare disorder that typically causes severe intellectual disability, weak muscle tone and trouble swallowing.
“She had a hard time keeping weight on from birth,” Mull previously told AJC.com, adding that Kylie never weighed much more than 10 pounds. “This is a medical issue, not a ‘starvation’ issue.”
The couple’s two other children ― an-8 year-old boy and a 1-year-old girl — are both healthy, Mull said Thursday.
Jerrail Mickens’ bond was set at $150,000 and Porscha Mickens' bond was $50,000, court records show. They both must wear a GPS monitor, and the Division of Family and Children Services will determine if they’re allowed to have contact with their other children, according to the court order.
Prosecutors in the case argued that Jerrail and Porscha Mickens should remain held without bond, Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh told AJC.com.
“It was not a consensual order on our part, but we told the judge if she were inclined to grant bond that we would suggest high bond amounts with stringent conditions,” he said.
Mull maintained that both of her clients are innocent and said that will be displayed at trial.