Sacramento County prosecutors have turned over dozens of pieces of information to defense attorneys in the murder of 6-year-old Jadianna Larson in May, including surveillance videos, interviews and 911 calls to dispatchers, attorneys said at hearings Friday in Sacramento Superior Court.
In all, attorneys for Juan Rivera, 25, and his mother, Lisa Burton, 46, have 64 CDs and DVDs of discovery as they pore over a case of the girl’s disappearance from her south Sacramento apartment and its tragic end 90 miles north of the city in rural Glenn County.
Rivera is accused of killing the girl with a blow to the head from a blunt-force instrument. Burton was also charged as an accessory after the fact for allegedly covering up the death of the girl, whose charred remains were discovered by Glenn County authorities off a county road on May 28. Rivera and Burton remain in Sacramento County jail and will return to court Oct. 30 before Judge Jaime Roman.
Relatives said Jadianna’s mother, Tanecia Clark, was undergoing mental health treatment at the time of the child’s death. Rivera, Clark’s boyfriend, who often stayed for long periods of time at the Martin Luther King Jr. apartment complex with Clark and Burton, was supposed to be taking care of the girl, authorities said.
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But Rivera told authorities that he had a seizure disorder that waylaid him for hours and that he recovered later that night to find Jadianna had disappeared, according to police.
County child welfare records offered a picture of Jadianna’s short, troubled life. Contact with Child Protective Services workers began almost immediately after her birth and continued for nearly all of her six years – her file marked with reports of general neglect.
She missed classes so often, school officials told The Bee, that officials reached out to family members with letters, phone calls and family meetings. They described Jadianna as a bright, high-achieving pupil when she did attend class.
After the Friday hearing, Jadianna’s aunt Erienne Miller and grandfather David Clark, wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with Jadianna’s photo, talked about their wait for answers in the girl’s death.
“I have one question,” David Clark said. “Why?”