Mother accused of drowning 4-year-old daughter in Hillsborough River to use insanity defense

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A mother accused of drowning her 4-year-old daughter in the Hillsborough River is planning on using the insanity defense.

8 On Your Side uncovered the legal strategy for Shakayla Denson in court documents.

Denson is charged with first degree murder in the death of Je’Hryah Daniels in 2018.

According to Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan in August of 2018, police received a call about a woman who had possibly thrown a child into the river near Rome Avenue and Aileen Street. The dive team responded immediately.

Daniels’ body was discovered 75 feet offshore.  The child was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police arrested Shakayla Denson, then 26.

Witnesses say Denson waded into the Hillsborough River with her child. Roughly halfway across the river, she tossed Daniels and began wading out.

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