Minneapolis man charged with murder in death of girlfriend’s 2-year-old child

A Minneapolis man is accused of beating to death a 2-year-old boy and abusing his 4-month-old brother last May.  

Hennepin County Prosecutors charge Otis Lee Jackson, 30, with second-degree murder while committing a felony and malicious punishment of a child nearly one year after the death of 2-year-old Ona’Je Prince Sincere Jackson-Jones.

Warning: The following details of this case are disturbing.

Minneapolis police responded to a call on May 4, 2022, for a child who was not breathing. His mother, 26-year-old Navonna Latina West, was attempting CPR, and they were transported to the hospital where the child later died, according to court records. 

Officers at the scene and hospital noted numerous injuries on the child’s body. The medical examiner determined Ona’Je’s cause of death was complications of multiple blunt force injuries and the manner of death a homicide.  

His 4-month-old brother was brought to the hospital for examination after authorities saw Ona’Je injuries. A child abuse pediatrician said he had multiple rib fractures, fluid in his abdomen and had been exposed to fentanyl, charges said. There was also various bruising, possible chemical burns on his stomach, and burn marks on his back. 

According to court records, Jackson caused similar injuries to a 2-month-old child when he was around 14 years old. He claimed he accidentally burned the child with hot soup, but the physician said the burns were positioned over each nipple, and they appeared to be inflicted burs rather than an accidental injury. 

West stated when she attempted to take the children to the hospital, Jackson would take her cell phone and car under the pretext that he had to go somewhere. Additionally, when West inquired about the burns on the 4-month-old's stomach and questioned whether Jackson had accidentally burned the child with a cigarette, he replied that he didn't know, court documents state.

West claimed she did not cause any injuries to her children. She told police Jackson had been living with them, and she would leave the children alone with him. Two days after the child’s death, West was charged with two counts of malicious punishment of a child. Her felony charges were amended in February to child endangerment and she pleaded guilty. She is scheduled to appear in court on May 1. 

Jackson made his first appearance in court on April 25 and the judge set his bail at $1 million without conditions. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 24. 

Jackson was previously convicted of second-degree assault for hitting West with a car in 2019 while she was pregnant with Ona’Je. He was sentenced to serve 21 months at St. Cloud prison with credit for 122 days.