Toddler death

2 years for Racine mom in toddler’s death

2013-01-25T19:33:00Z 2013-12-11T09:54:29Z 2 years for Racine mom in toddler’s deathKRISTEN ZAMBO kristen.zambo@journaltimes.com Journal Times

RACINE — The Racine mother sat clad in dark green jail scrubs, at times dissolving into sobs as she listened to the sheer brutality of the injuries that her little girl suffered at the hands of her boyfriend.

But prosecutors contended that Cheyenna M. White, 24, failed to take her daughter for medical treatment — for eight hours — after her boyfriend body-slammed the cherubic-cheeked little girl more than a dozen times to the ground while he baby-sat White’s youngest child. And in a quiet Racine County courtroom on Friday, it was White’s turn to be sentenced for her role in the Oct. 20, 2011, death of her 2-year-old daughter, Donnasia Jackson.

“The loss of my child is more than what any human can do to me,” she told Boyle through tears. “I’m sorry that I trusted someone with their lives.”

Visibly conflicted between compassion for White, and meting out punishment for her daughter’s death, Racine County Circuit Judge Tim Boyle sentenced her to two years in prison plus four years on extended supervision.

“It’s hard-pressed for me to say Ms. White is a bad person. ...But I also have to do what is fair for this child,” Boyle said.

White pleaded no contest in October to child neglect resulting in death, which is a felony.

Her boyfriend, Andre O. Knighton, was accused of hitting the toddler’s buttocks with his flip-flop and body-slamming her to the ground 12 to 15 times on Oct. 19, 2011, while White was at work and Donnasia was left in his charge. The toddler died the next day, after suffering extensive head and abdominal injuries.

Donnasia had a tear in her liver and her pancreas was split in two.

Autopsy results showed she suffered from a skull fracture. In fact, Donnasia’s brain turned to a jelly-like consistency because of “significant injuries” to her head, autopsy results showed.

“If I had seen anything that would have led me to believe (she was so badly injured), I would have took her to the emergency room. But there wasn’t,” White said during her sentencing, dissolving into tears.

The abuse occurred over a several-hour period, Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete said.

“What happened to her was one of the most brutal beatings I have seen in my career,” he said during Friday’s sentencing. “Anyone looking at this child would know there was something horribly wrong with her. The injuries were overwhelming to her poor little body.”

Defense attorney Michael Barth admitted during the hearing that he has been stalling in this case. But he said it was because White has been so emotionally fragile he didn’t think she could sit through the recitation of Donnasia’s life-ending injuries.

“I am a father. There is a strong urge to protect her,” Barth explained. “She knows she was wrong and was beating herself up. She is one that internalizes almost everything.”

She now is on anti-depressants, he said, and serving 18 months in prison after her probation was revoked in an earlier criminal case. The two-year prison term in Donnasia’s death won’t kick in until after she has completed this sentence.

“This case has utterly destroyed her,” Barth said, his voice growing more quiet in the otherwise silent courtroom. “She has a need to punish herself.”

Barth had asked for probation for White, saying she has been consumed with punishing herself for Donnasia’s death.

White’s older two children, a son and daughter, are living with her brother — whom Barth said he believes has agreed to adopt them.

Knighton pleaded no contest in July to first-degree reckless homicide. He was sentenced in November to 30 years in prison plus 20 years on extended supervision.

Copyright 2015 Journal Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(7) Comments

  1. GottaLuvRacine
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    GottaLuvRacine - January 30, 2013 1:29 pm
    wow thats it?
  2. who me
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    who me - January 27, 2013 10:21 pm
    No, that's not at all what I'm saying. I'm saying that THIS is showcasing a devaluation of a human being. Nobody cares about protecting the defenseless anymore. There is very little value placed on the worth of a human being, let's "get rid of it" or "throw it away". Before birth, after birth...the lines are definitely becoming blurred. We should be horrified by crimes against little ones but we're not anymore. But, thanks for the cornflakes tip...I'll try to remember that.
  3. kevinsmom68
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    kevinsmom68 - January 27, 2013 12:36 pm
    welcome to racine wisconsin. where you can kill your kid and get a slap on the wrist!
  4. Kay Nine
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    Kay Nine - January 27, 2013 2:59 am
    Your saying someone beat this child to death because there are too many abortions? Whatever it is you're putting on your cornflakes.... stop using it.
  5. who me
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    who me - January 27, 2013 1:21 am
    Abortion and the degeneration of the family is part of the reason why crimes like this happen to begin with. There is VERY little value placed on human life and abortion has effectively helped solidify that. Case in point: 2 years for NOT protecting your very innocent, precious child?!?! Something is wrong in this society and it's NOT lack of abortions. The problems would need to be fixed, not the symptoms of this problem.





  6. rak
    Report Abuse
    rak - January 26, 2013 12:41 pm
    2 years doesn't seem like nearly enough for this child's life. I know the mother's actions didn't directly harm the child but to not act is equally as reprehensible.
  7. ggodmuls
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    ggodmuls - January 26, 2013 9:01 am
    Her boyfriend, Andre O. Knighton, was accused of hitting the toddler’s buttocks with his flip-flop and body-slamming her to the ground 12 to 15 times on Oct. 19, 2011, while White was at work and Donnasia was left in his charge. The toddler died the next day, after suffering extensive head and abdominal injuries.

    Donnasia had a tear in her liver and her pancreas was split in two.

    Autopsy results showed she suffered from a skull fracture. In fact, Donnasia’s brain turned to a jelly-like consistency because of “significant injuries” to her head, autopsy results showed.


    It speaks for itself. A tragedy all around. You can't stop the sexual behavior, but breeding should be licensed and an early abortion would have been a better option.

    A preventable tragedy - this is the result of The Democrat Plantation. Racine is full of abused, neglected, and unwanted, children. Don't let a child get in the way of your lifestyle and also ruin your life. Please - Abort.
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