LOS ANGELES – A state appeals court panel Wednesday upheld a man’s conviction for his 1-year-old daughter’s drowning death in Pasadena nearly eight years ago.
Jurors found Marquise Jackson of Lancaster guilty in July 2016 of one count each of first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death in connection with the May 20, 2011, drowning of his daughter, Mo’Nayjah.
The girl was not breathing when police and firefighters were called to the 100 block of West Del Mar Boulevard. Rescue workers unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate the baby.
Jackson drowned the child while her mother was at work, and subsequently confessed to the killing, according to police and prosecutors.
The godmother of the baby’s mother — who had been staying with the family for a week — testified that Jackson told her that he didn’t want a baby and that he was not ready to be a father, according to the appellate court panel’s 14-page ruling.
Jackson did not return to the apartment, call the baby’s mother or attend the girl’s funeral two weeks later, the justices noted.
He subsequently told police in an August 2011 interview at his aunt’s home in Lancaster that it was an accident before admitting that he put the girl’s head underwater.
The ruling notes that when asked what made him drown his daughter, Jackson told investigators, “It was just stuff building up, you know. I — I had a baby and nothing going right for me, like I can’t provide for her. I couldn’t do nothing I wanted to do, period … So it was just like a burden.”
Jackson is serving a 25-year-to-life term in state prison.
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