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‘Truly traumatic and horrific’: Man who beat stepdaughter to death gets decades behind bars

Danny Dabbs (Hinds County Jail)

Danny Dabbs (Hinds County Jail)

A 31-year-old man in Mississippi will spend several decades behind bars for beating his juvenile stepdaughter to death and physically abusing his two younger stepchildren. A Hinds County Circuit Court judge on Wednesday sentenced Danny Dabbs to a combined 50 years in prison following the brutal 2020 death of 17-year-old Lamonica Tucker, prosecutors announced.

According to a press release from Hinds County District Attorney Jody Owens, Dabbs pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder in Tucker’s death and two counts of felony child abuse over the abuse inflicted upon Tucker’s younger siblings, a 14-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl. He was sentenced to 40 years on the murder charge and 10 years on the child abuse charges, with the sentences running consecutively.

Dabbs had initially been charged with capital murder but pleaded to reduced charges after his defense attorney reached an agreement with prosecutors.

LaTiffany Chambers, Dabbs’ wife and the children’s biological mother, was convicted on one count of capital murder and two counts of felony child abuse following a jury trial. A judge in April sentenced her to life in prison without the possibility for parole on the murder charge plus an additional 10 years on the child abuse charges.

LaTiffany Chambers (Hinds County Jail)

LaTiffany Chambers (Hinds County Jail)

“This is the end of a truly traumatic and horrific crime of physical, mental, and sexual abuse,” DA Owens said in a statement following the sentencing hearing. “Our office will continue to fight for and protect all children from those that commit these acts.”

Officers with the Jackson, Mississippi, Police Department at about 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 responded to a 911 call regarding an unresponsive juvenile at a residence located in the 600 block of Lowder Drive, according to a report from Jackson NBC affiliate WLBT. Upon arriving at the scene, first responders reportedly found the victim — later identified as Tucker — unconscious and showing numerous signs of physical abuse.

Emergency Medical Services personnel transported Tucker to a local hospital where she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead.

As part of the investigation into Tucker’s death, authorities had the victim’s two younger siblings examined by doctors and both children exhibited signs of “prolonged physical abuse,” WLBT reported.

Following Tucker’s death, Lea Anne Brandon, the director of communications for the Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services (CPS), told the Clarion Ledger that the family had been reported to the agency multiple times in the preceding years, and the parents were ordered to complete counseling in 2016 after accusations of child abuse were substantiated by investigators.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.