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Mother Pleads Not Guilty in Death of Toddler

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Melissa Jackson

Melissa Jackson

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis woman has pleaded not guilty in the death of her 18-month-old son.

KSDK-TV reports that 28-year-old Melissa Shawneece Jackson entered the plea Wednesday. She is charged with first-degree murder and felony abuse of a child resulting in death.

The child, Marquell Jackson, died in May. Authorities say the child was beaten, strangled and then tossed into a trash dumpster. An autopsy showed the child had severe brain trauma, a lacerated liver, several bone fractures and ligature marks on his neck.

Jackson is jailed without bond. Her attorney did not return a phone message seeking comment.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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