Mom pleads not guilty in river drowning death

- The Tampa mother accused of drowning her daughter in the Hillsborough River has pleaded not guilty.

Police say Shakayla Denson, 26, waded into the river around 4 p.m. On August 2 and tossed Je'hyrah Daniels, described as having autism and being non-verbal, into the water.

Witnesses called police after seeing the child being thrown into the river. About 30 minutes later, the body of the 4-year-old girl was found by rescuers. Denson was spotted walking nearby and taken into custody. 

Denson was arraigned this morning on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and stealing a car. She waived her right to appear in court, but attorneys entered a ‘not guilty’ plea on her behalf.

She's due back in court on November 6.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Mom pleads not guilty in river drowning death
  • Former special needs teacher accused of rape
  • Cortez service industry bands together to keep struggling workers afloat
  • Pasco K9 tracks down suspect who tried to kidnap child, deputies say
  • Farewell, Princess Ulele: Temporary fixture removed from Riverwalk
  • Sacred Heart's pipe organ fills church, hearts with music
  • Five months later, Tampa police name suspect in artist's death
  • Polk volunteers gear up for Florence relief mission
  • 2 U.S. airmen, Vietnam vets forever connected by lifesaving kidney donation from one to the other
  • Ruby, a furry fire victim, will become the next Palm Harbor firefighter