PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) - A Pensacola woman was charged with four counts of aggravated child abuse after she severely beat four children with a belt and left visible injuries on them, Pensacola police said.
Nicole Renee Henderson, 27, was arrested on the charges around 4 p.m on Friday.
The investigation began after Markevion Hixon, 3, was taken by ambulance to Baptist Hospital Thursday night after he choked on a hot dog. Hixon died just after 7 p.m.
Henderson was Hixon's legal guardian because his father, Demarcus Hixon, is in jail and his mother is deceased. Detective Shannan Fortenberry with PPD said Henderson had been Hixon's primary caregiver since September 3 when his father was arrested.
During an autopsy on Friday, a number of injuries unrelated to his death were found on the toddler's body. The injuries were at various points of healing and were consistent with him being whipped with a belt or a cord, Fortenberry said.
Fortenberry said Hixon had injuries on his abdomen, legs, arms, chest, and back in addition to recent injuries on his backside that appeared to be friction type burns on both buttocks. Police said three of four other children who live with Henderson also had been beaten and had similar injuries.
Henderson said she used a belt when disciplining the children.
Four children – ages two, four, five, and six – have been removed from the home by the Department of Children and Family Services.
Fortenberry said the investigation is continuing, and more charges are possible.
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