The three suspects had spent more than a year in the Montgomery County Jail as authorities investigated and prosecuted them for the 2019 death of Takoda Collins.
Prosecutors said Takoda lived in hellish conditions for years, being beaten, locked in an attic and forced to stand in painful “punishment poses” for long hours. Prosecutors said a doctor who examined Takoda after he died said the boy’s bruising was the type of injury typically observed in catastrophic events like a severe car accident. Another doctor found that Takoda was battered from head to toe with hundreds of lacerations and abrasions to his head, face, mouth, neck and other areas of his body.
In a sentencing memorandum, prosecutors said Takoda was punched, elbowed and stood on in the hours leading up to his death.
“Still not satisfied that Takoda was sufficiently compliant, defendant Mclean threw the child around some more, and grabbed him by the ears, and dragged him down the steps,” the memorandum says. “Defendant took the child into the bathroom and told him to clean his shorts, when Takoda again did not move fast enough, he was told to move faster or he was going to be drowned. Defendant (Jennifer) Ebert, from the living room, then heard splashing and Takoda gasping for air.”
The horrific case and a Dayton Daily News investigation that followed led to a number of changes at the local level and the introduction of state legislation. There’s been a 30% increase in the number of cases being referred from Children’s Services to the prosecutor’s office.
Dayton police also changed how it conducts children welfare checks and Ohio Rep. Phil Plummer, R-Butler Twp., introduced a bill that seeks to reform the way county children’s services operate.
That bill has passed the house and remains in a Senate committee.