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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    North Carolina

    MA - Jocelyn Ward-Anderson, 9 mos, beaten to death, Salem, 18 Nov 2007


    Mother indicted for murder in death of baby daughter
    December 24, 2007

    SALEM, Mass.—A Peabody woman who twice regained custody of her 9-month-old daughter has now been charged in the apparent shaking death of the baby.

    Prosecutors say 37-year-old Jennifer Ward was arrested Friday after a grand jury returned a murder indictment.

    The baby, Jocelyn Ward Anderson, died at Children's Hospital in Boston last month. The Essex County District Attorney's office said the cause of death was determined to be abusive head trauma.

    State Department of Social Services spokesman Richard Nangle said the agency took custody of the baby shortly after birth in February when both mother and daughter tested positive for drugs.

    Ward regained custody after agreeing to outpatient therapy, but Nangle says the baby was again removed by the DSS after a report of neglect.

    Ward regained custody of the baby a second time after completing a drug treatment and parenting education program.
    Happy New Years

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    There are just no words to describe how angry stories like this make me!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    "Keeping the family together at all cost" approach doesn't seem to be working out for DSS around the country. It makes me sick and I cannot believe I am saying this but we are trying to adopt a puppy from a shelter and they are making us take background checks and home visits and everything, yet for us to bring a child home from the hospital no such actions are taken. They just assume since we can "pro-create" we can take care of the needs of a baby/child. Luckily we are blessed financially and emotionally to be able to do this but millions out there are not.

    Honestly, I sometimes feel drastic measures should be taken with women who have proven over and over again that they cannot handle the responsibilies of children. Often times they prove this by killing them!
    Sterilization seems the obvious choice for these women who continue to abuse and neglect these kids and the death penalty for those who kill their children.

    hardcore, I know. But I am sick of hearing about women who MURDER their own children. Families are begging to adopt these kids and these "mothers" are throwing their babies in trash cans (claiming to think the baby was a blood clot) or drowning them in bathtubs.

    I'm sorry. I am obviously pissed off.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    God bless this angel!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Chandler AZ
    This family reunification thing is a load of crap, especially with a baby. She was given 2 chances even. That was one chance too many. DSS has failed misrably with this case. No way should a mom be given 2 chances with a baby.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    (Yes, this is an old case but I was reminded of Jocelyn... and wanted to update on the outcome.
    I could only find these two family pictures of Jocelyn...)

    "Will you get away from me for two seconds?"
    Jennifer Ward yelled at her not-quite-9-month-old daughter, Jocelyn, on the afternoon of Nov. 18, 2007.

    "She's awful,"
    Ward complained to the baby's father, Robert Anderson, who was on the phone from the state prison in Concord.


    Her attention turned back for a moment to Jocelyn: "Come on you little (expletive)."


    "I got the baby barnacle," she said, yelling. "Get out of here."

    At that point, Jocelyn began crying.

    "What's she crying for?" Anderson asked.
    Ward swore at her, and then yelled, "You can't go over there."
    Ward complained some more when Jocelyn tried to stand up.


    It was sometime between that call (around 4:30 p.m.) and midnight, prosecutors say, that Jennifer Ward violently shook Jocelyn, slammed her head against something, then put her to bed.

    By the time a friend showed up at around midnight, the baby's brain was so swollen it had lost all of its ridges and no longer looked like a brain, prosecutor Kate MacDougall said. And that was only the beginning of her injuries.

    There was bleeding in both of her eyes.

    Her skull was fractured in the area of her forehead.

    Her arms and belly were bruised.

    She had fractures to her shoulders, elbow, left forearm and vertebrae in her back -
    the result, MacDougall said, of being slammed down on her backside.

    An autopsy has raised the possibility that the baby suffered other, earlier injuries, including fractured ribs and legs.....


    Jennifer Ward took the witness stand in her own defense yesterday at Salem Superior Court, trying to convince jurors that she was a "nervous" but loving mother who would never harm her only child.

    "You have to understand," Ward, 39, testified under questioning by her lawyer, Thomas Barrett. "She was my only child. I loved her so much. I could never hurt her. She was the love of my life."

    So what about the yelling and name-calling heard in a phone call
    hours before her daughter, Jocelyn, was hospitalized, prosecutor Kate MacDougall asked.

    She was just distracted, Ward told jurors,
    because she had to watch Jocelyn while talking to the baby's father on the phone and putting away jars of baby food that Ward's mother had purchased for the child earlier that day.

    "I liked having Jocelyn around me," Ward insisted.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Jennifer Ward was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter
    yesterday for brutally shaking and slamming her 9-month-old daughter to death nearly two years ago.

    She had been charged with first-degree murder,
    which would have meant a life sentence.

    Prosecutor Kate MacDougall had hoped to convince jurors that Ward was guilty of first-degree murder either by premeditation or extreme atrocity or cruelty.

    She described a prolonged series of assaults on the baby, including grabbing and twisting her arm hard enough to snap it, then shaking the baby violently, causing two more fractures near her shoulders and extensive brain damage, and then finally slamming the child against something hard enough to crack her skull.


    Ward gets 15 to 17 years in death of baby daughter

    Salem Superior Court Judge David Lowy called Ward “selfish” and “weak” as he imposed the sentence.


    Jennifer Ward sat through days of grim and disturbing testimony
    about her daughter Jocelyn's painful death, and then a jury's verdict finding that she had killed her baby, all without betraying a single emotion.

    Yesterday, for the first time, Ward, 39, of Peabody, cried openly in court.


    It's a sentence that the judge said "reflects the horror of what she did and her complete lack of remorse or acceptance of responsibility for what she did.

    "What the sentence does not reflect is the evil of the crime,"
    he said. "No sentence could."

    Ward's tears came earlier in the morning, as her ex-boyfriend, Robert Anderson, begged Lowy for justice for his youngest child,
    Jocelyn Mae Ward-Anderson, just 9 months old.

    "I didn't get a chance to be her father. Can you give us justice for my little baby?"

    As both Anderson and his family wept, Anderson continued.
    "Please do justice for Jocelyn. She didn't deserve this. I just don't know what to say. Why did it happen? Why?"


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    It was originally thought that Jocelyn was taken at birth, given back... then taken again.
    She was NOT taken at birth. She was sent home with her mother after testing positive for cocaine at birth.

    DSS Chief Defends Handling of Jocelyn's Case

    McClain would not discuss specifics of the case because it is under criminal investigation and would not discuss why DSS allowed Ward to take the child home from the hospital, even though both tested positive for cocaine after delivery.

    But, in general, McClain said after it is determined a child has drugs in its system, DSS consults with doctors and substance abuse experts to decide if the child should go home or be placed in foster care.


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