In 2021, Rashawd Hines knew he had to act when his son cried each time before returning to his mother’s house.
So the Lakeland, Florida, man wrote a letter to a Polk County clerk’s office in Florida requesting a family court hearing to gain full custody of Jayden, just 2. In the letter, Hines wrote he feared for the safety of his boy, but the court did not immediately act on his request.
Less than two months later, Jayden suffered blunt-force trauma while under the care of his mother’s boyfriend. He had bruises all over his body, cuts and bruises to his liver, brain bleeding caused by a head injury and a human bite mark on his forearm, according to the medical examiner’s autopsy.
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