Minneapolis man charged in death of girlfriend’s 2-year-old son in May

A Minneapolis man was charged in the May 4, 2022, death of 2-year-old Ona’Je Prince Sincere Jackson.

Otis Lee Jackson, 30, was charged with second-degree murder and malicious punishment of a child, court documents say.

As previously reported, Minneapolis police were dispatched to a residence on May 4, 2022, on a report of a child not breathing. When officers got to the home, Ona’Je’s mother was performing CPR on him. The toddler was brought to the hospital, where he later died, according to court documents.

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Officers at the scene and the hospital noticed bruises and scratches on the boy’s body.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner determined that Ona’Je’s cause of death was complications of multiple blunt force injuries and ruled the death a homicide.

After seeing the injuries on the Ona’Je, investigators had his 4-month-old brother brought to the hospital to be examined.

The 4-month-old had the following injuries:

  • Multiple fractured ribs
  • Fluid in his abdomen
  • Bruising on the left side of his body
  • Scabbing and possible lesions under his genitals
  • Large possible chemical burn around and under the belly button
  • Four possible burn marks on his back
  • Blood in his right eye
  • Scarring across the bridge of the nose between his eyes
  • Loss of pigmentation on the side of the head leading up to both eyes

The 4-month-old also tested positive for being exposed to fentanyl.

Investigators determined that the injuries to both boys were inflicted by the mother’s boyfriend, identified as Jackson, court officials said.

The mother and Jackson were living together with the two boys. The mother told investigators that she didn’t injure either boy and that there were times she would leave them in Jackson’s care, according to the criminal complaint.

In the days before Ona’Je’s death, his mother told investigators he was very weak, had bruises on his side, and was throwing up. She also noticed burns on the 4-month-old and asked Jackson if he had accidentally burned him with a cigarette, but Jackson said he didn’t know.

The mother said that she wanted to take the boys to the hospital, but whenever she asked, Jackson would say he had something to do and would take her car and phone. According to the criminal complaint, the mother said she didn’t press for more information because she knew it would turn into an argument where Jackson would physically assault her.

According to court documents, Jackson was convicted of second-degree assault against the mother when she was pregnant with Ona’Je in 2019.

There is also a prior case from when Jackson was 14. According to court officials, he claimed he accidentally burned an infant with hot soup, but a physician said the burns didn’t look consistent with an accidental burn.