KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) – A woman has lost temporary custody of her newborn while she battles for custody of another child who survived a fire that killed three other children.
Jonetta Woods will have two hours a day of supervised visits with the newborn, but the time could be extended in the future.
The decision was made Tuesday morning during a court hearing in Kalamazoo.
The newborn, Tyquan Brown, was released from a hospital on Monday. He will be placed with his 19-year-old father, who has the same name but a different middle name.
The baby will be placed with other family members until his father can buy a car seat, a crib, and other essentials, and show he is responsible enough to care for the child.
The fire occurred at Woods’ apartment in Kalamazoo in February 2013. No one was supervising the kids at the time. Woods said she left her then-boyfriend, Fred Glespie, in charge but a jury later found him not guilty.
During a custody hearing in December 2013, state experts testified that Woods hadn’t taken responsibility for what happened. So family members were given temporary custody of the child who survived the fire. Tuesday’s hearing resumed discussions of this particular custody battle. Dr. Carla Johnson, a professor of psychology at Western Michigan University, testified. She has spent time interviewing Woods, and said Woods has been grieving over the loss of her other children and experienced post-traumatic stress disorder. Dr. Johnson said Woods felt awful that she wasn’t able to save the children from the fire. Johnson said Woods was able to answer questions and attend most of her appointments. This testimony contradicts past testimony from other doctors who said Woods was not taking responsibility for what happened and didn’t have the mental understanding to care for a child.