Charges dropped for St. Louis mom whose child died

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Prosecutors have dropped charges against a St. Louis woman whose child’s body was found in a trash bin in 2011.

Melissa Shawneece Jackson, 30, was scheduled to go on trial next Monday on charges of first-degree murder and child abuse in the May 2011 death of her 18-month-old son, Marquell. His badly beaten body was found in a trash bin behind his home on May 27, 2011. She had maintained her innocence and pleaded not guilty.

Jackson’s attorney, Scott Rosenblum, received notice Monday that all charges against Jackson had been dropped.

After the boy’s grandmother reported him missing, officers found his body in the trash bin. He had suffered brain trauma, neck injuries, multiple rib fractures and multiple liver lacerations that caused internal bleeding.

Susan Ryan, a spokeswoman for St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, would not explain why the charges were dropped, saying Joyce does not discuss closed cases. Anyone with information about the case should call police, she said.

St. Louis police spokeswoman Schron Jackson said an internal investigation has begun to determine if an officer might have compromised the case by not sharing information “critical to the investigation” with homicide detectives. She would not elaborate.

Rosenblum said one of Jackson’s ex-boyfriends, who often slept in his car in the alley near the trash bin, told investigators he killed the child but Melissa Jackson forced him to do it.

“They didn’t have much against Melissa except for some strange circumstances,” Rosenblum said. “It seemed to me they had a better suspect that they decided never to look at.”

Melissa Jackson spent about 10 months in jail before posting bail and being released in March 2012.

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