Image: Larry Krasner

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner

DA Larry Krasner today announced the sentencing of Jedayah Nesmith (DOB 8/18/1994) for the 2017 murder of a 2-year-old boy in the city's West Oak Lane section. Assistant District Attorney Nora Nienhagan Greenberg secured a guilty plea from Nesmith for Third Degree Murder, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Abuse of Corpse, and related charges. She was sentenced on August 17 by Judge Glenn Bronson and faces a maximum of 47 years in state prison.

In February of 2017, the child's mother asked Nesmith, with whom she was romantically involved, to take temporary custody of the child due to a change in the mother's work schedule. Nesmith agreed and the child began living full-time with her in her apartment, located on the 7100 block of N. 15th Street. The mother, who lived at a different location, maintained regular contact with Nesmith, who falsely claimed on numerous occasions that the child was residing with Nesmith's mother in the Poconos, and that she could not reach the mother by phone. Authorities discovered the child on March 22, 2017, after Nesmith arranged to pay her ex-boyfriend $1,000 in order to dispose of the child's body. The ex-boyfriend discovered the body in the apartment and later notified police.The Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office determined that the child likely died from numerous physical injuries to the head and body, in addition to starvation and dehydration. Antifreeze was also found in the child's system.

"The criminal justice system can never bring back this beautiful two-year-old boy's life," said DA Krasner. "But I'm grateful to ADA Nora Nienhagan Greenberg for helping to hold this defendant accountable. I also cannot stress enough the important role that the public has in notifying social services and law enforcement if you believe a child's life is in danger. By working together, we can protect the lives of our most precious residents and avoid terrible, heartbreaking tragedies like this."

If you suspect child abuse, call the Philadelphia Department of Human Services 24/7 hotline: 215-683-6100. If you have additional questions or want to learn more about how you can identify possible indications of abuse, visit the DHS website.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office is the largest prosecutor's office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million residents of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives, and support staff. The District Attorney's Office is responsible for the prosecution of approximately 40,000 criminal cases annually.

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