Police: Mother arrested after abusing 4-year-old child with autism and nearly drowned her other child a few years ago

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HOUSTON, TX-  A mother has been accused of abusing her four-year-old son who is autistic five years after there were child drowning allegations against her.

Oh Thursday, November 10th, 27-year-old Brittany Natasha Jasmine was arrested and charged with injury to a child.

According to court documents, Jasmine left her two younger sons, ages one and four, with a guardian who took the four-year-old to the hospital back in September. Documents state that the boy had bite marks on his thighs, bruises on his body, swelling on his stomach, and a black eye.

Officers were told by medical staff that the boy was underweight and still wearing a diaper because at four-years-old, he was not yet toilet trained.

The guardian told police that the one-year-old was Jasmine’s favorite son and that she focused the abuse on the four-year-old, who has autism. The guardian also said that Jasmine only wanted custody of the boys so that she could collect welfare benefits.

Court documents show that the four-year-old allegedly told the guardian, “mama punches me.” Another couple told police that the children have had to beg for food and water.

The couple recalled the children saying, “Mommy, mommy, mommy, water, water, water, mommy can I water.”

Jasmine has two older sons and in 2017 was reportedly charged with endangering one of them. He was a one-year-old at the time and nearly drowned at a pool in Sunnyside.

Lifeguards told Houston police that Jasmine repeatedly dunked him underwater until his lost consciousness and the boy had to be revived.

The charge was later dismissed because prosecutors said they could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

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On Friday, November 11th, ABC13 learned that Jasmine’s older sons, now six and eight, are living at their grandmother’s house. The grandmother said that the sons are safe and thriving. She said that she has not spoken to her daughter, adding:

“Straighten up her life and get better because she’s got four boys she needs to commit herself with and try to straighten her life out.”

As of this writing, Jasmine remains in jail on a $30,000 bond. In Cypress, Texas, a man accused of witnessing a mother torture her twin children and hold them captive had his first court appearance on Thursday, November 10th.

Jova Terrell, 27, has been charged with assault and continuous family violence; his bond has been set at $1 million.

In October, a set of twins escaped the Cypress home of Terrell and Zaikiya Duncan in the middle of the night. As they looked for help, a neighbor took them in and called the police.

Investigators learned that there was a long list of alleged abuse taking place inside of their home. Keegan Childers with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement:

“It’s just horrendous, just awful. It’s completely unfathomable. The fact he fled to Louisiana with the codefendant at the time and had the other kids, it shows he’s a flight risk and danger to the community.”

Duncan has been charged with injury to a child and aggravated assault in Harris County. Terrell has been charged with continuous violence against a family member. Childers said:

“He was definitely present in the home, no question about that. He was present when the kids were being assaulted and being tortured. He witnessed all of this. It’s not entirely clear what the extent of his involvement is yet, but we are still digging and investigating to figure that out.” 

When the twins escaped, Terrell and Duncan fled with five other kids to Louisiana where they were eventually arrested by police. The two were then extradited back to Harris County. Childers said:

“It’s just a question was he also participating in the assaults? There is some evidence that suggests he was. We are trying to get to the bottom of that.”

Prosecutors confirmed that all seven kids are in foster care and have been forensically interviewed. Those interviews were conducted by a mental health expert who specializes in trauma.

Prosecutors are still reviewing those interviews. Childers added:

“It’s rough to listen to everything these kids were tortured and abused. What happened was absolutely awful, no taking that away from them. They are going to live with it for the rest of their lives.”

The lawyer representing Duncan said that she is now pregnant with her ninth child and prosecutors believe that Terrell could be the father. Duncan’s bond was previously set at $4.5 million.

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