LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — The father of a toddler, who police say was beaten to death earlier this year, says the justice system failed his late son again after the child’s mother, who was charged in connection with the death, was released on bail.
Police say Lakeland 2-year-old Jayden Hines was beaten to death on April 8. Soon after, two people were arrested.
Jayden’s mom, Vershundra Day, was charged with one count of accessory after the fact and one count of negligent child abuse. Day’s boyfriend, 30-year-old Alegray Jones, was booked for first-degree murder.
Jones is still behind bars, but Day is now out on bail.
Jayden’s dad, Rashawd Hines, says he is devastated.
“It is hurting me, deeply. For her to be released is just utter nonsense,” he said. “I believe she had more to blame than him because she’s the parent, he’s just a random guy.”
Day’s bond was set at $75,000.
8 On Your Side learned that defense attorneys tried to get the bond lowered in October, but prosecutors and the judge didn’t go for it. Day was only released after she came up with the cash.
Jones is not eligible for bond.
“Ninety-nine percent of the defendants get pre-trial release,” said Steven Capriati, a former prosecutor in Hillsborough County. “You’re not released when you’re charged with a capital crime, which is a first-degree murder, a sexual battery, an armed kidnapping.”
8 On Your Side has learned the court is keeping track of Day with a GPS monitor. The next court date is set for Jan. 11, when Day will face a judge for a pre-trial hearing.
“Jayden knows I love him, he knows his dad is going to fight for him to the very end, even if I’m standing alone,” Hines said. “Take care of your kids, cherish your kids, because you never know what you have until they’re no longer with you.”
If you have a story involving crime and courts, email Investigator Mahsa Saeidi at MSaeidi@WFLA.com.