A woman weighing 23 stone has been jailed for life after crushing her nine-year-old cousin to death by sitting on her. Veronica Posey, 66, positioned herself on Dericka Lindsay – who was just over three feet tall and weighed a little more than five stone – to punish her for being naughty.
Posey, from Pensacola, Florida, was on Friday convicted of first degree murder and thrown behind bars for life after the child was found to have died of a lack of oxygen.
Prosecutor Amy Shea told the two-day trial: “Dericka died face down in a chair in her living room with her knees on the floor, lying face down in the seat of the chair, and the defendant sitting on top of her.
“The defendant admits that she weighs 320 pounds and this is a nine-year-old girl.”
The girl was repeatedly beaten by her elderly adoptive parents Grace and James Smith and Posey when she misbehaved, the hearing was told.
In October 2017, Grace, 71, called Posey asking her to discipline Dericka for “acting up” with her eight-year-old sister. “Once her feet hit the floor getting out of bed, she was determined to beat these children,” Assistant State Attorney Shea said.
She took a ruler and a thin pipe to give it “weight” and helped Grace Smith whip Dericka.
The girl was then forced to kneel down in front of an armchair and lean her body forward across the seat so her head was face down on the cushion.
Posey then sat on Dericka’s back and she died because she could not breathe.
Dericka was said to have screamed twice that she could not breathe and Posey rang 911 after getting up.
Severe bruising found on Dericka’s bottom in an autopsy was described by the medical examiner as “injury, on top of injury, on top of injury”.