Toddler's Death Ruled a Homicide (Press Conference)
A two-year-old's death in Chautauqua County has been ruled a homicide and a 14-year-old girl has been charged with first degree manslaughter as a juvenile offender in the boy's death.
Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerrace and Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley announced in a joint press conference this afternoon that the 14-year-old was arraigned Tuesday night and waived her right to a preliminary hearing.
She is being charged for allegedly strangling two-year-old Joshua Jock Jr. Monday night. She is currently being held in juvenile facility in Buffalo on $1 million bail or $2 million bond. While the girl is being labeled as a juvenile, the charges are described as 'quasi-adult' by District Attorney Foley, meaning the sentencing guidelines are less stiff as they would be for an adult that commits the same crime, but it is an adult conviction.
The guardian of the child had left the boy in care of the 14-year-old girl but District Attorney Foley said that it is uncertain if additional charges will come for the guardian leaving the boy in care of the teenage girl.
Chautauqua Sheriffs were called to a residence along Route 474 where the Little Racer's Daycare operates on Monday night. The 14-year-old was caring for the boy and a 16-month-old girl. There were no adults home at the time of the alleged incident, they arrived later in the night and called 911. The boy was then taken to WCA Hospital in Jamestown NY where he was pronounced dead.
During Wednesday afternoon's press conference Sheriff Joe Gerrace also said that he had personal knowledge that the Little Racer's Day Care, which was not involved in the incident, had been sent a letter informing them they were no longer licensed to operate the day care facility.