Child dies after 325-pound adult sits on her as punishment


A 9-year-old child died Saturday in Pensacola after her 325-pound cousin sat on her as punishment for misbehaving.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office reported that Veronica Green Posey, 64, was charged with homicide and cruelty toward a child after paramedics responded to a cardiac arrest call Saturday afternoon and found 9-year-old Dericka Lindsay unresponsive.  She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Dericka’s parents, Grace Joan Smith, 69, and James Edmund Smith, 62, were also arrested and charged with child neglect.  Grace Smith has also been charged with cruelty toward a child.  Both failed to report the abuse.  Posey is their niece.

Grace (left) and James Smith

Grace Smith told investigators that she called Posey and asked her to come over to help out with disciplining the child.  Grace Smith told the interviewing deputy that Posey hit Dericka with a ruler and a metal pipe and Dericka ran over to an empty armchair.

Posey told the responding deputy she then sat on Dericka as punishment “for being out of control.”  After 10 minutes, Dericka told all three of the adults that she couldn’t breathe.   Her father, James Smith, told police that Posey continued sitting on the child for an additional two minutes before getting up to check on her.

Dericka was unresponsive and Posey called 911.  She performed CPR while waiting on paramedics to arrive.

According to jail records, Posey was released on $125,000 bond.  Grace Smith is out on $75,000 bond.  James Smith remains in jail with a bond of $50,000.