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Abrianna Miller: Mother charged with aggravated manslaughter in son's death

Posted at 10:52 AM, Sep 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-01 21:01:25-04

A West Palm Beach mother appeared in court Friday morning to face charges in the death of her 2-year-old son in May.

Abrianna Miller, 28 was arrested Thursday by U.S. marshals and faces aggravated manslaughter.

The boy, Lanard McDowell Jr., was killed on May 26 when a vehicle ran him over in front of their home on 59th Street.

Miller told police she was supervising the children and the outside gate was closed.

Based on a sworn statement, the victim's father, Lenard McDowell arrived home at about 5:30 p.m, driven by a friend in a 2006 Jeep Wrangler that had large aftermarket tires and a suspension kit.

When the friend drove away, McDowell said he heard a sound he described as "boom boom." He looked in the street and discovered the boy had been hit by the Jeep.

McDowell told police that when he arrived he noticed that the gate was open and that Miller was not outside with the children. Two of the other children playing out side, ages 6 and 8, also told police that the front gate was open the entire time.

Investigators note that Miller, who has eight children, has a history of child abuse and neglect.

  • She was arrested in 2007 for cruelty towards a child and child neglect.
  • In 2009, three children were court ordered into permanent guardianship of a relative.
  • In 2015 DCF sheltered four of the children for inadequate supervision, substance abuse and environmental hazards.
  • When her daughter was born in 2005, she was immediately sheltered because of the open case.
  • In 2016, DCF court ordered parenting classes, domestic violence counseling, substance abuse counseling and individual counseling to regain custody of the children.

The driver of the Jeep who hit Lanard left the scene unaware that he hit the child. The driver later received a call from the toddler's father and then went to the Riviera Beach police station. The driver was not charged in the crash.

Milller is charged with one count of aggravated manslaughter of a child.

In 2016, WPTV profiled Miller when she had the first baby of the year at St. Mary's Medical Center.