A 22-year-old mother in Georgia has been indicted on a spate of felony charges for allegedly killing her 20-month-old son, whose body was recovered in a landfill last month.
A grand jury in Chatham County on Wednesday returned a true bill indicting Leilani Maree Simon on 19 charges, including two counts of felony murder and one count each of malice murder and concealing the death of another in connection with the death of young Quinton Simon, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show.
Simon is also facing 14 counts of making a false statement and one count of false report of a crime.
According to a copy of the eight-page indictment obtained by Law&Crime, prosecutors are alleging that Simon on Oct. 5, 2022 intentionally killed her son with an unknown object “that when used offensively against a person did result in serious bodily injury,” and “cause Quinton’s death.”
The felony murder charges stem from accusations that Simon killed Quinton while also committing felonious acts of aggravated assault and first-degree cruelty to a child by “maliciously” causing Quinton “cruel and excessive physical pain” in a manner that was unknown to the grand jury at the time of the indictment.
Simon then unlawfully concealed Quinton’s death by “discarding him in a dumpster at Azalea Mobile Home Plaza” in order to “hinder the discovery of whether Quinton was unlawfully killed,” the document states.
The false report of a crime charge alleges that Simon on Oct. 5 did “willfully and knowingly give a false report of a crime to the Chatham County Police Department” by “implying that Quinton Simon had been abducted by an unknown intruder.”
The indictment also provides additional details into what investigators believe happened after Simon allegedly killed her son, accusing her of repeatedly lying to police and federal agents who were searching for the child.
She “admitted that she had left her home in the late night hours of October 4, 2022 to meet her drug dealer, falsely stating that the purpose of this meeting was to pay for an existing drug debt,” the document states. Simon is also accused of falsely claiming that the only drug she used regularly and within 24 hours of reporting Quinton missing was marijuana.
According to prosecutors, Simon falsely claimed that in the early morning hours of Oct. 5 she left her home to “meet her friend ‘Misty’ to obtain Orajel’ when she actually travelled to the Azalea Mobile Home Plaza to discard her son’s body in the dumpster.
The document states that Simon repeated the allegedly false claims about her whereabouts and actions on the morning of Oct. 5 in several subsequent interviews with investigators. Then, on Oct. 31, she allegedly claimed that it was not her, but her boyfriend, Daniel Youngkin, who left the house on the morning of Oct. 5.
However, on Nov. 21, the same day she was arrested, Simon allegedly admitted that she did leave her house on the morning of Oct. 5 and travelled to the Azalea Mobile Home Plaza but falsely told investigators that “she did not remember what she had done there,” per the indictment.
Human remains were discovered in the landfill on Nov. 18. The FBI confirmed that the remains were Quinton on Nov. 28.
Chatham County District Attorney Shalena Cook Jones announced the indictment during a Wednesday afternoon press conference.
“It’s a matter that calls our very humanity into question,” she said. “These are the cases that keep us up at night. These are the cases that deserve justice.”
Watch the press conference below:
[Image via Chatham County Detention Center and Police Department]
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