Contact: David Chapman
Phone: (904) 255-3004
Cell: (904) 524-6626

Dec. 16, 2021


State Attorney Melissa Nelson announces that Erica Newsome has pleaded guilty to First-Degree Murder in the 2017 killing of her daughter. Pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, the Honorable Adrian Soud sentenced Newsome to life in Florida State Prison.

On Aug. 8, 2017, a member of the West Virginia State Police was dispatched to a traffic investigation on U.S. Route 250. Upon arrival, witnesses told the senior trooper that Newsome had removed the victim — Newsome’s daughter — from the car after she lost a tire and crashed. The senior trooper saw Newsome at the bottom of a large embankment, where she spontaneously confessed to killing her daughter and admitted to being abusive. The child was under a cotton comforter; medical personnel determined the girl had been dead for some time and showed numerous injuries in various healing stages that showed evidence of abuse. Newsome told law enforcement she took the child’s body from their Northside Jacksonville home Aug. 5, 2017, and drove north. A search of her cellphone prior to leaving Jacksonville revealed terms such as “alligator ponds,” “fatal bridge accidents in Jacksonville,” and “people killed on Virginia cliffs” among others. An official autopsy by the medical examiner in West Virginia determined the girl was malnourished, had injuries to her head, torso, and extremities, and showed evidence of strangulation and/or suffocation. Newsome was arrested and extradited back to the Jacksonville.

The case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and West Virginia State Police, and prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Alan Mizrahi and Chyna Makarowski.

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