Judge Awards Custody of 3-Year-Old to Sex Offender Instead of GrandparentsMeredith Carroll
A judge in Jacksonville, Fla., has ruled that a 3-year-old girl should live with a registered sex offender instead of her grandmother.
The little girl’s mom, Trista Crews, died a month after giving birth to Miranda Wilkerson. Crews was married at the time to Donald Coleman, who is registered as a sex offender because they wed when she was 14 and he was 38. At the time of her death, Coleman had filed for divorce because he said Crews was pregnant with another man’s baby.
However, Coleman is still Miranda’s legal father because he was married to her mom at the time of her birth, which mattered more to the judge than the fact that Miranda has been growing up with her grandparents.
To make matters worse? Two days after the judge’s ruling, Coleman filed a motion that Miranda’s grandmother should not be allowed to see her. The Florida Department of Children and Families and State as well as Rep. Janet Adkins are trying to figure out how to get little Miranda back to her grandparents.
“I was absolutely appalled. Very concerned for the well-being of this little girl,” State Rep. Janet Adkins told ABC News affiliate WJXX-TV in Jacksonville. “I find it absolutely incredible that the law would say you are going to take a child out of a family, the only family this child has ever known, and to put this person with a complete stranger who is not any relation, I find that just appalling. My biggest concern is for that child’s safety.”
While Miranda’s grandmother doesn’t exactly have a squeaky clean past, either — a 1995 arrest that was eventually dropped in which she was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and a child neglect charge in 1997 when her daughter first got pregnant by Coleman — she and her husband are the only parents Miranda have ever known.
The custody transfer of Miranda occurred last week, at which time she moved to Coleman’s home in Georgia. Miranda’s grandmother will be able to appeal the judge’s decision as well as report the case to the Department of Child and Family Services.
Is it just me, or is this the second judicial outcome in a week out of Florida concerning a little girl that seems a bit wacky?