Modified: November 17, 2022

Mother’s Boyfriend Arrested in Killing of California Girl and County Faces Suit

One of the most disturbing and horrific incidents occurred in 2022, shocking Californian residents to the core. Police finally arrested a person they believe is a suspect in a murder case involving a young Californian girl.

Let’s explore the details of the news “Mother’s boyfriend arrested in killing of California girl” with Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys.

The Tragic Murder Story of the Missing Girl Sophia Mason

Sophia Mason, age 8, went missing in early December 2021. Her San Francisco Bay Area relatives contacted the Hayward police about their concerns and filed a missing person report.

Police Arrest Young Victim’s Mother for Further Investigations

The police officers found it bizarre that the missing girl’s relatives filed a missing person report, not the parents. They started investigating the concern, which led them to a child abuse case in Alameda County, prompting them to get a warrant and arrest Samantha Johnson, the young victim’s mother from San Francisco Bay Area.

Johnson Horrifying Statements Lead to Another Warrant by Merced Police Department

The police arrested Johnson in March 2022 and took her in for questioning. She told the Merced Police Department detective, Lt. Joe Perez, that her boyfriend, 34-year-old Dhante Jackson, kept Sophia in a shed at his home, where he would subject the young girl to physical and sexual abuse.

After hearing such horrifying revelations about physical and sexual abuse, Merced police detective, Perez marked Jackson as a suspect in the missing girl case, asking the Merced Police Department to issue a warrant.

Merced Police Barge into Suspect’s Home and Finds Body in March Inside a Central California Home

Upon receiving the warrant, the Merced police reached Jackson’s home and found the dead body of young Sophia lying in the bathtub. Unfortunately, Jackson was not home, which meant the chase had begun.

According to a news conference Sunday involving Merced police detective, Perez said the body found in March inside a central California home suggested the child suffered continuous physical abuse and malnourishment.

Police Makes Further Arrests as Murder and Child Abuse Case Advances

On September 10, 2022, Merced Police Department, Lt. Joe Perez, and his team arrested four others for helping Jackson evade arrest.

Jackson, Johnson’s Boyfriend, Arrested in Killing Sophia Mason, Police and California Attorney General’s Office Says

Police were able to track Jackson and finally arrested him after a 6-month long manhunt in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Newark.

On September 11, 2022, the police took Jackson into custody, facing murder and child abuse charges. According to prosecutors and California Attorney General’s Office, Johnson did not plead guilty to murder and child abuse charges. It is unclear whether Jackson has an attorney to speak on his behalf is uncertain.

Child-welfare Documents Uncovered Previous Reports of Abuse, News Group Reported Sunday

The Bay Area news group reported Sunday that they got their hands on crucial documentation.

The child welfare documents uncovered that Sophia mentioned suffering physical abuse perpetrated by her mother to the social workers more than once, yet they didn’t help her out.

Sophia’s Grandmother Files Wrongful Death Legal Claim

After finding out about the child welfare documents, Sylvia Johnson, the young victim’s grandmother, took action and registered a wrongful death claim against Alameda County.

She accused the child and family services department of not taking reasonable measures to ensure the safety of Sophia Mason despite complaints that the child suffered continuous physical abuse.

Next Step for Sylvia Johnson in Her Wrongful Death Claim

After filing the wrongful death claim, the legal process allows 45 days for the County to take action. They can either reject the claims or settle with Sylvia Johnson and her attorney. Before taking a decision, Alameda County will conduct an investigation, and if their findings support Sylvia’s wrongful death legal claim, they will try to settle it.

However, if the County rejects the claim against the child and family services department, they will send a letter to Sylvia letting her know that she can pursue the case in court. Sylvia will have six months to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against Alameda County.

If the County does not reply within 45 days, Sylvia has two years to file a lawsuit.

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Top Notch American Injury Lawyer, Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline

Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.

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