Additionally, Grace Joan Smith, 69, and James Edmund Smith, 62, were arrested and charged with child neglect for failing to report the abuse. Grace Smith has also been charged with cruelty toward a child. The report named the Smiths as the parents of Dericka and Posey as the Smiths' niece.
According to Grace Smith's arrest report, she called Posey to her house for assistance with disciplining Dericka. Grace Smith told the deputy Posey struck Dericka with a ruler and a metal pipe, before Dericka ran to an armchair.
In James Smith's arrest report, he told the deputy Posey sat on Dericka in the armchair for an estimated 10 minutes before Dericka complained of not being able to breathe. He told the deputy Posey continued to sit on the child for another two minutes before standing up and finding the child unresponsive.
In an emailed statement to the Pensacola News Journal, Mike Carroll, secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, said the family had a previous interaction with the state's child welfare system.
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"Dericka’s death is appalling and DCF will continue coordinating with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office to hold anyone responsible for her death accountable," Carroll's statement read. "As the family has a prior interaction with the child welfare system, a thorough quality assurance review will be conducted to review all prior interactions this family has had with the child welfare system."
According to Escambia County's jail records, Posey's bond was set at $125,000, and she was released. Grace Smith's bond was set at $75,000, and James Smith's bond was set at $50,000. As of 3 p.m. Monday, jail records showed both were still in jail.
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