Mother of 7-week-old allegedly killed by father now faces charges

Mother of 7-week-old allegedly killed by father now faces charges
Rock County Sheriff's Office
Jessica Nelson

The mother of a 7-week-old boy who was allegedly killed by his father last month is now facing child neglect charges for the same incident.

Officials said Amanii Cardell Hodges, born in January, died March 26 at a Milwaukee hospital. Before the baby died, doctors told police the baby was “neurologically devastated,” and that if he lived, he wouldn’t walk or talk and would be in a “near-vegetative state.”

The Rock County Medical Examiner’s Department said Amanii’s death was the result of “homicidal abusive head trauma.”

Deanthony C. Hodges, 32, was charged in Rock County Court of neglecting and causing great bodily harm to his infant son.

According to a criminal complaint, the baby was with Hodges on March 20 when Hodges messaged the baby’s mother, 29-year-old Jessica Nelson, saying the boy wasn’t “looking good” and that he needed to go to the hospital. The baby had been alone with him for seven hours. Hodges told police the boy hadn’t fallen while he was watching him, and he said he hadn’t hit the baby.

Officials said Nelson and Hodges had previously been investigated for child abuse about 18 months prior to this case after the mom’s 3- and 5-year-old were abused; one of the children was severely injured. The two children are in the care of Nelson’s grandparents.

During that investigation Nelson was instructed by a judge and Child Protective Services not to allow Hodges to watch their son and she agreed, according to the complaint. After Amanii was hospitalized, Nelson told police Hodges had watched their son six of the seven days she worked.

Nelson was in court Thursday for an initial appearance on a charge of neglecting a child causing death. A judge released Nelson on a $20,000 signature bond with orders not to have any contact with children under the age of 18 or Hodges. She is scheduled to be back in court May 2.

Hodges will be back in court May 2 on charges of physical abuse of a child by recklessly causing great bodily harm, child neglect resulting in great bodily harm and bail jumping.