BREVARD COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE ARRESTS PARENTS FOR MANSLAUGHTER IN CHILD’S DEATH
David Williams Chappele Jr and Jessica Marie Strickland
BREAKING – The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 29-year-old, David Williams Chappele Jr and 27-year-old, Jessica Marie Strickland of unincorporated Cocoa, after a Judge issued arrest warrants today charging them with Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child. Both subjects were arrested this afternoon and transported to the Brevard County Jail Complex.
The investigation was initiated on September 6, 2017, after deputies responded to a residence on Walnut Street in Cocoa, in reference to an unresponsive 8 month old infant. The infant was transported and pronounced deceased at the hospital later that night.
An autopsy conducted by the Brevard County Medical Examiner determined that the death was caused by an overdose of fentanyl and cocaine.
The investigation revealed that on the night of the incident, Strickland and Chappele placed a mattress on the floor of the living room to co-sleep with the infant in the middle of the bed. Strickland awoke, finding the infant unresponsive and called emergency 911.
It is alleged that Chappele was wearing multiple fentanyl patches, which had been cut in half, where a lethal amount of fentanyl residue was then transferred to the infant.
It is also alleged that the infant ingested cocaine as Strickland was using the drug while caring for the infant. Chappele’s charges are related to allowing the infant to be in direct proximity of a dangerous narcotic that caused the infant’s death. Strickland is being charged for failing to protect the infant even though she knew the possible danger to the child from the drugs that were being used by both parents.
Anyone with further information in reference to this investigation is asked to please call Agent Wendy Wheeler of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Homicide Unit at 321-633-8413.
Rest in peace little buddy.