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Englewood dad charged in Christmas Eve death of son, 6

James Dearman, 31

James Dear­man, 31

Updated 9:41 p.m.: Detec­tives have enhanced Dearman’s charge to Aggra­vated Manslaugh­ter of a Child. Also, video of the charge upgrade and bond hear­ing is at bot­tom. THIS STORY MAY BE VIEWED FREE BY ALL. IT IS NOT BEHIND THE PAYWALL. http://www.englewoodedge.com/?p=70994

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. – An Engle­wood 6-year-old boy is dead and his father is in jail, accused of aggra­vated manslaugh­ter of a child in the Christ­mas Eve tragedy.

Accord­ing to a Sara­sota County Sheriff’s Office report, deputies were called to the 920 Lord St. home at 11:10 p.m. Dec. 24 by James Dear­man, 31, who said his son was uncon­scious and had stopped breath­ing. The child was trans­ported to the hos­pi­tal and pro­nounced dead. Respond­ing deputies reported see­ing bruis­ing on the child’s back.

Accord­ing to the report, inves­ti­ga­tors found that while Dear­man and his girl­friend, Ash­ley Cole, were play­ing video games in the liv­ing room, Dear­man made his son and 7-year-old sib­ling stand with their faces to the wall. When his son turned to look at the tele­vi­sion, Dear­man got angry and brought the child to the couch where he forced him to lie on his side and face the rear cushions.

The 6-foot-1, 270-pound Dear­man then used his body weight to pin his son down while he and his girl­friend con­tin­ued to play video games, the report stated. His son screamed that he couldn’t breathe and begged to use the bath­room, even­tu­ally uri­nat­ing on the couch and becom­ing uncon­scious. Dear­man and his girl­friend left the child on the couch, went to the garage to smoke a cig­a­rette and later called 911.

Accord­ing to the report, Cole said that, when they returned to the liv­ing, she noticed the child wasn’t breath­ing and his lips were blue and she ran to the garage to pray while Dear­man called 9−1−1 and per­formed CPR.

Dear­man was arrested Mon­day on an out­stand­ing war­rant from Geor­gia for Ani­mal Cru­elty and Crim­i­nal Dam­age to Prop­erty. Late Wednes­day, detec­tives work­ing in con­junc­tion with the Med­ical Examiner’s Office charged Dear­man with aggra­vated child abuse. Charges were upgraded Thurs­day after­noon. He is cur­rently being held on $1 mil­lion bond on all charges at the Sara­sota County Jail.

Dearman’s his­tory includes an arrest in 2008 for Deser­tion from the Navy, the report said.

The 7-year-old sib­ling was unin­jured and remains in the pro­tec­tive cus­tody of the Depart­ment of Chil­dren and Fam­ily Services.


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