Local News

Mother of child who died from neglect may be tried in May

SEBRING - The mother of a child who died from malnourishment in a dirty cockroach-infested Avon Park apartment may be tried in May, prosecutors said.

Richard Castillo, the assistant state attorney handling the case involving Sandra Jackson, the mother, said Tuesday that with the discovery process - when attorneys on both sides seek information - being nearly completed, May was mentioned as the month when the trial could be held.

But, he added, the possibility remains that the trial could be postponed.

Jackson and her boyfriend, Kyle Lee Marsh Rupert, were charged last year with aggravated manslaughter, one count of child neglect with great harm and three counts of child neglect without great harm. Last year, Rupert plead guilty to neglect and was sentenced to 24 1/2 years in prison.

In July 2012, authorities found 10-month-old Milo Rupert dead and his three sisters malnourished.

On Monday, Amy and Roy Jackson, the aunt and uncle who adopted two of Milo's sisters, gave depositions to prosecutors.

Amy Jackson said that Kairi, the sister who recently turned 6, also gave a deposition and did a good job. All of the three sisters, Kairi, Audrey and Willow, are doing much better, Amy Jackson said.

Amy Jackson said she would rather not have to testify in a trial, but is prepared to do that. She said she still loves her niece and forgives her for what happened.

But, she added: "She (Sandra Jackson) still has to pay the price for what happened to Milo."

Records indicated that during the six months prior to Milo's death, the quality of care declined. Sandra Jackson told authorities she didn't take Milo to a doctor because she was concerned about the doctor's reaction to his condition.

The records indicated that Sandra Jackson wanted Milo's health to improve before taking him to the doctor.

Authorities said that the apartment was filled with thousands of cockroaches and rotting food. One of the cleanest parts of the apartment was where Rupert and his friends would play video games, records said.


(863) 386-5834