SC woman stands trial after 4-year-old daughter found dead in dresser drawer

Three years after a 4-year-old girl was found dead in a dresser drawer in Rock Hill, her mother is on trial and charged in her death.

Rock hill police arrested Jackleen Mullen in May 2020. She has maintained her innocence.

The first day of Mullen’s trial wrapped up Tuesday afternoon after a jury heard opening statements at the York County Courthouse.

Senior solicitor Erin Joyner led the opening statements for the prosecution. She said it’s a case of a child with disabilities being in the care of a malicious or indifferent parent.

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“No one knew that India Martin was suffering laying there,” Joyner said. “Nobody, except her caregivers. So invisible that when India finally succumbed to her injuries and she passed away, nobody knew except for her caregivers.”

Joyner said 4-year-old India Martin depended entirely on Mullen and her boyfriend, Audrevious Williams, who’s also charged in the case.

Defense attorney Brian Shealey is representing Mullen. He argued Tuesday that Williams is responsible for India’s death. He said evidence shows Williams lied to police nine times about what happened.

“He’s trying to distance himself, because guys that punch walls, beat women, and beat children that aren’t theirs want to save their soul,” Shealey said.

Williams is also charged with homicide by child abuse. He hasn’t yet gone to trial, but he is expected to testify as a prosecution witness in Mullen’s trial.

Prosecutors said India was killed in May 2020. The defense says the cause was head trauma.

Jackleen Mullen is charged with murder, homicide by child abuse and aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse. Her trial resumes Wednesday morning.

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