A 39-year-old North Las Vegas woman pleaded guilty to felony child abuse Wednesday for keeping a filthy home where eight children lived.
Geneva Morgan’s 3-month-old son, Donald Hemmings III, died Jan. 20, while she was jailed on eight felony charges of child abuse, neglect or endangerment. She accepted a deal with prosecutors Wednesday to plead guilty to one of those charges, which names all eight victims, while the other counts were dismissed.
The 3-month-old boy had been found by police covered in vomit and living in conditions deemed “an extreme environmental hazard,” according to a Dec. 20 North Las Vegas police report. The discovery was made while officers were serving a search warrant in a robbery investigation.
The boy’s father, Donald Hemmings Jr., 42, and Morgan, 39, were arrested by North Las Vegas police last month. At the time, the eight children — ages 3 months to 17 years old — in the blended family were taken into protective custody. The two adults in the home, who have an extensive history with child welfare that includes an open case, face multiple abuse and neglect charges.
Although the Clark County coroner’s office has not yet released the cause and manner of the infant’s death, Family Services wrote in a Jan. 23 child death report to the state that “no abuse or neglect is suspected with the death.”
Outside of court Wednesday, Morgan’s 20-year-old daughter, Jaushaun Feltus, told reporters that the child — also her brother — was staying with her when she noticed he was not breathing, and she called 911.
“No one knows how he died yet,” Feltus said, adding that her mother did not hurt the boy.
Morgan faces between one and six years in prison, but she also could be given probation. Hearing Master Melisa De La Garza ordered Morgan released from jail pending a sentencing hearing in May. Her attorney, Dewayne Nobles, said Morgan needed to make funeral arrangements for the child.
Nobles said he did not know whether Morgan would testify against Hemmings Jr., who is scheduled to appear before De La Garza next month.