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Starvation cited in infant's death

Jan. 24, 2012 @ 11:00 PM

HUNTINGTON -- A Huntington woman maintained her innocence Tuesday in the face of a charge that her neglect contributed to the death of her 10-month-old son.

An autopsy determined that Cierra Nicole Jordan's son died from starvation and extreme care-taker neglect, according to a death certificate filed in the Cabell County Clerk's Office.

Jordan faces a single-count indictment charging her with child neglect resulting in death. Her attorney, Ray Nolan, entered a not-guilty plea during an arraignment Tuesday.

"There is a legitimate medical explanation for this very unfortunate series of events," Nolan said after the arraignment, but he declined to provide any specifics

The child, De'Konyae Eugene Randolph, died Jan. 25, 2011, according to the indictment. Huntington Police Detective Ryan Bentley said emergency units had responded to a medical call at the infant's home in the 1600 block of Artisan Avenue. Medics found the infant to be unresponsive. He was taken to an area hospital and pronounced dead.

Jordan, whose case was presented directly to a grand jury without prior arrest, rolled her eyes and appeared frustrated during Tuesday's arraignment. A microphone at the defense table amplified a couple of remarks as she signed paperwork.

"This is crazy," she said. "This makes no sense at all."

Cabell Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell released Jordan on a $50,000 bond. He scheduled her next court appearance for March 8.

Bentley referred to the child's death as a difficult case. He said the investigation largely depended upon the medical examiner's report. It determined the infant's death a homicide with starvation and dehydration listed as contributing factors.

Investigators then asked a grand jury to consider the evidence and make its determination. Its conclusion resulted in this month's indictment.

Bentley said investigators found no obvious signs of physical abuse or trauma to the infant's body. He added that police also found standard baby care items inside the infant's home, such as food, milk and diapers.

Jordan was the infant's primary caregiver at the time, Bentley said. He explained the infant's father had not been involved in caring for the child.