Woman who had 11 kids going to prison for 10 years after baby tested positive for cocaine
A Laurel woman whose newborn baby tested positive for cocaine was defiant even as she as she was admitting her guilt in Jones County Circuit Court.
Dominique Nix, 31, was ordered to serve 10 years in the full-time custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to felony child abuse. She gave birth to twins in September 2017 prematurely, Assistant District Attorney Kristen Martin told the court. One of the babies tested positive for cocaine. They are in foster care now, she said.
Judge Dal Williamson asked Nix if she knew what condition the child is in now.
“He’s running around,” Nix said. “Ain’t nothing wrong with him.”
That was her attitude at the time of her arrest by Capt. Tonya Madison of the Jones County Sheriff’s Department, too.
“She said she didn’t know why she was there when she was arrested,” Martin said. “She said she stopped using when she found out she was pregnant.”
Medical records that showed Nix and the baby tested positive at the time of birth would have been presented to a jury if the case had gone to trial, Martin said.
If convicted, Nix could have been sentenced to life in prison, so she and public defender John Piazza agreed to take the plea agreement. It’s the longest prison sentence yet for any of the dozen or so women who have been prosecuted in cases that have been put together by Martin and Madison.
Nix has had 11 children and doesn’t have custody of any of them, Martin said. Her attitude was part of the reason she got that prison time.
“She just seemed unconcerned, unrepentant,” Martin said. “It’s like she didn’t care or see what she did was wrong.”
Nix, who was wearing a T-shirt with the words “NAP QUEEN” under her jacket, didn’t shed tears until the judge talked about her prison time.
“For the life of me, I can’t understand how a mother could do this, knowing the risks of ill effects to her child,” Williamson said. “It’s beyond me. Thank the good Lord that your baby does not have birth defects. You could’ve killed your baby.”
In addition to the 10 years in prison, Nix was ordered to spend three years on MDOC post-release supervision, participate in the court’s community service program and pay $1,917.50 in court fees and fines.
In a separate case, 28-year-old Jimmy Ray Tucker was ordered to serve two years in prison after admitting to punching his girlfriend’s 6-year-old daughter in the face and back in September 2017.
The mother is still in a relationship with Tucker, he told the judge.
Tucker was arrested after the child’s grandmother called the JCSD to report that the girl had been punched by her mother’s boyfriend. Former JCSD Investigator Jonathan Carter noted that the victim had marks on her face, inside her mouth and on her back, and she demonstrated how Tucker hit her with a closed fist. The girl was taken to the Child Advocacy Center in Gulfport, where a child specialist determined that the abuse did occur.
“It takes a small man to do something like that,” Williamson said.
He asked Tucker repeatedly to help him understand why he did it.
“I have no excuse,” Tucker said.
Tucker was facing up to 10 years in prison, if convicted by a jury.
Williamson was reluctant to accept the plea deal, but after Martin and Piazza went to the bench and talked to him about it, he accepted it. It’s likely that the mother didn’t want to press charges and the family didn’t want the girl to have to testify.
The girl stays with her grandmother, near the home in which Tucker and her mother live. He told the judge that he has two other little girls. The grandmother signed an affidavit stating that she agreed with the plea deal.
Drug use caused Tucker to hit the young girl, said Joel Wigington, who is Tucker’s sponsor at Ignite Church, where he was getting help.
In another case, the capital murder rial for 27-year-old Rashaud Crosby was continued to Sept. 23. The trial was set to start today (Tuesday). His attorney, Jeannene Pacific, asked the court for another mental evaluation for her client. That request was denied unless Crosby pays for the evaluation. Crosby is accused of slamming his girlfriend’s baby against a wall, causing his death, in July 2017.