Lake City mom arrested, charged with strangling child

School resource deputy found marks on 6-year-old's neck, report states


LAKE CITY, Fla. – The mother of a 6-year-old boy was arrested after a school resource deputy determined he'd been strangled, according to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

The deputy who spoke to the boy said the student had scratch marks on his neck, the incident report states. When asked how he got them, the boy told the deputy, "my mommy choked me."

According to the report, the boy said he was left home alone Monday evening with his babysitter, a 4-year-old girl, and was instructed to stay in his mother's room. A woman known to the family later came to the home and took the boy and girl to get something to eat.

After returning home, the report states, the boy said his mother got mad, grabbed him by the collar, choked him and threw him to the ground.

The deputy later arrested the mother, Marcella Jenkins, 24, at her home, the Sheriff's Office said. She was charged with felony battery by strangulation and taken to the Columbia County Jail.

Investigators said Jenkins' brother took custody of the 6-year-old. It's unclear who has custody of the 4-year-old.

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