Following the news that Jhessye Shockley’s mother, Jerice Hunter, has been arrested on child abuse charges, many are dismayed that Hunter was allowed to care for her children in the first place.
Hunter had been under a cloud of suspicion since her 5-year-old daughter Jhsseye was reported missing on Oct. 11.
In 2006, the Glendale Arizona woman was sentenced to eight years in a California prison for child abuse. According to a court document, the charges included the torturing of her 7-year-old daughter and the infliction of physical injuries on her other children.
The document also included a psychological evaluation of Hunter, which found: "Ms. Hunter will need a spectrum of psychological treatment services."
It also suggested: "She will need to acquire some anger management tools in general. She will need a series of parenting classes to help her acquire more healthy and productive methods of disciplining and for caring for her children."
According to abc15.com in Arizona, Hunter faced prosecution when, in 2005, the children's grandmother decided to call police after spotting a cut on her 13-year-old granddaughter's leg. Three other children in the home were also suffering from injuries to their bodies.
In Jan. 2006, in exchange for a no-contest plea, prosecutors dropped torture charges against Hunter and she began serving her time in prison. She appealed her sentence but was denied by the courts. It is unclear why she was allowed to go free before completing the duration of her time.
According to the Associated Press, Sgt. Brent Coombs of the Glendale police department told reporters at a news conference Monday that information discovered over the past few days, convinced police to serve another search warrant on the home of Hunter, which resulted in her arrest.
On Monday Ariz. Child Protective services also took custody of Hunter’s 3 other children, including a new born.
Hunter’s home was surrounded by police tape Monday, as investigators wearing white jumpsuits conducted a strenuous search of its confines.
Police Sgt. Brent Coombs expressed doubt that the little girl would ever be found.