Photo: Cornell Jackson and Monica Meza
CHOWCHILLA — A man and woman are behind bars, accused of murdering a toddler. Around 10 PM on March 12, 39-year-old Cornell Jackson phoned 911 to report he was transporting a drowning victim to the hospital. When Jackson was asked to identify his location so an ambulance could meet him to administer aid, he stopped at a Madera gas station and left the unconscious 2-year old, and two other minors, before driving away.
When officers arrived on scene it was obvious that the child suffered from other injuries. “There were multiple injuries in multiple areas of the child,” stated Chowchilla Police Department Lt. Jeff Palmer. Jackson and Monica Meza, the second suspect, live just north of Chowchilla.
The child passed away at a Madera Hospital and the death was ruled a homicide. Chowchilla and Madera police officers worked together to investigate. Some neighbors reported they heard a child screaming early that Monday afternoon.
Jackson, a friend of the toddler’s family who was supposed to be watching the child, was arrested on March 13. He is charged with torture, murder, assault on a child with force likely to produce great bodily injury or death, and possession of a controlled substance. His bail stands at $1 million.
His 35-year-old girlfriend, Monica Meza, was also arrested for willful harm or injury to a child likely to produce great bodily injury or death. Her bail is set at $100,000.
Both are currently housed at Madera County Department of Corrections.
The other minors who were abandoned with the 2-year old victim have been placed with Madera County Child Protective Services.