Florida Judge Awards Custody of 3-Year-Old Girl to Unrelated Sex Offender

Categories: WTF Florida
mirandacrew.jpg
A judge in Baker County, Florida, has awarded custody of Miranda Wilkerson, a 3-year-old girl, to a registered sex offender whom she is not related to. The girl will be removed from her grandmother's house, where she has lived since her mother was killed in a car crash just a month after her birth.

The girl's mother, Trista Crews, was 14 years old when she met and was impregnated by Donald Coleman, then 38 years old. He pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor for that dalliance and received probation in addition to registering as a sex offender. Nevertheless, Crews and Coleman married when Crews was just 16, and the couple had two more children.

Then, in 2005, Crews's mother, Rita Manning, said her daughter left Coleman but never filed for divorce.

"She couldn't afford a divorce [because] she was supporting three kids on their own," she tells First Coast News.

During that time, Crews met another man and became pregnant with Miranda. Only a month after Miranda's birth in 2007, Crews was killed in a car crash. At the time of Crews's death, Coleman had filed for divorce but the proceeding was never settled.

Miranda has lived with her grandmother in Baker County ever since, but Coleman initiated a long custody battle after Manning tried to adopt the girl. Because he was technically married to Crews at the time and therefore was Miranda's legal stepfather, a Baker County judge awarded him custody. Coleman now lives in Georgia and also has a history of domestic violence and aggravated assault.

However, Miranda's biological father tells First Coast News he has hired an attorney and will seek custody of his daughter.



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46 comments
Lynn Moscoso
Lynn Moscoso

Georgianathan@nathandeal.org and fllarry.williams@myfloridahouse.gov e-mail addresses were kicked back.  FYI.  If you want to learn more about the types of abuse by the child welfare system, please visit www.spiritsonfire.org.  Meantime, God bless all of the innocent children and families. 

Sqrll1996
Sqrll1996

PEOPLE ARE JUST SICK IN THIS WORLD

Gbragg
Gbragg

SO maybe I am being a bit Devil's Advocate here...but the judge would be equally disgusting for granting custody to a grandmother who allowed her 14 year old daughter to have a sexual relationship with this creep and then signed off for her to marry this 40 year old man at the age of 16!!!  Neither one of them have a sound moral compass.  Poor Miranda is doomed!

Brendaestensrud
Brendaestensrud

I just cannot understand what is happening to our judicial system when things like this happen. I don't believe that this man should have custody of this little one. I don't think he should have custody of any child even if he is the legal father or not. He is a sick man and should not be in a position where he can cause damage to children. I work with teens that have been sexually abused and the damage is horrific!!!!!!! The welfare of the child should come first before any other consideration. If for some reason the grandma was not a good choice either then the answer should have been a foster home not a man whom obviously is looking for some sick satisfaction.

Brooks32327
Brooks32327

I can belive this. After all it FLORIDA for you, I am ashamed to say it I live here ( not for long I hope) look at all the cases of children done wrong here. There is laws for our children its just getting the right Judge. I can say in Wakulla we have 2 Judges that do what is best for the kids, THANK GOD for them 2. Bit I do remenber that years back the mon had to divorce the dad and he had to be supervised to see his own kids, and he had the same thing as in this case. The man ( I say that losey) sleep with a teenager and she got pg, mirried to him and he was a rso, when there children wore born she eather had to give up the kids or divorce him and he had to move out. SO THERE ARE LAWS ITS JUST GETTING THE JUDGE TO ENFORCE THEM. THERE IS A PLACE IN HELL FOR THIS JUDGE. RIGHT BESIDE CAYCEE ANTHONY.

BDKatt
BDKatt

This so called judge should be buried to the shoulders in a fire ant hill.Let the kid with granny,the only mother she knows.

Gratisbunch7
Gratisbunch7

what took the bio father so long to get custody of his daughter?? If he had took care of his business this would never had happen. When will people take children serious enough to protect them.

Doni609
Doni609

Yup that's FL.  I live here and can attest to our pathetic court system.  Want to have sex with a minor well then come on down here and have at it.......the judge will slap your hand and give you a condom.  Problem is all our jails and institutions are filled with illegals that  had some weed; smoked some and sold the rest to their cousin; felony drug sale of course.  No room left for the child molesters, rapists, and killers!

Stingray_3440
Stingray_3440

Assign custody of the Judge to Bubba, the registered fudge packer. Problem solved......

Beauger
Beauger

Thankyou for pointing out that Caylee was not a foster child - I knew that - she was in the care and custody of her biological mother.  I am sure that whatever state/federal benefits were directed to the mother - that these were "cashed" during the time that the little girl was missing - and that she probably continued to use those benefits until the body was found.  The first point about foster children - there are children - missing in the foster system of Florida - that were not discovered for years after the fact.  So, who is at fault - social workers - judges, law enforcement, concerned neighbours/family members etc.  I am almost positive that the financial benefits that follow the foster child were cashed by the supposed caregivers. Sounds like a "cash cow" ponzi scheme for the sorry system that allows children to be abused and worst case scenario - murdered.  Out of sight - no one minds the children. 

Jay Peterson
Jay Peterson

The law treats children like property but this one really takes the cake.

Guest
Guest

God help this poor child.

Sam
Sam

What happened to judical common sense? Would she let this happen if it were her daughter?

DebR.
DebR.

And who is representing the Little Girl's best interest?  It is certainly NOT in her best interest to be taken from the only home she knows and placed in the home of a total stranger - let alone one who is a registered sex offender -related or not!

Thomas Macso
Thomas Macso

Beauger , Caylee was NOT a foster child. Her mother Caycee was  "responsible" for Caylee's well being. The State had NOTHING to do with the disappearance of Caylee, after 31 days did the grandmother call autorities concerning the child, followed by lies for the next 6 months until the skeletal remains of Caylee were found.

Beauger
Beauger

Isn't Florida the state where foster children are missing for years and no one checks up on them?  Took the State 30 plus days to ask questions about Caylee Anthony - this is your government bureaucracy in action.  Shameful!!!

Danielle5
Danielle5

Twisted, liberal, activist Judge abandons all morality to send another child to her doom so he can feel good about giving a bad person the benefit of the doubt at her expense. And hey, while were at it, let's obliterate everything that was once good and decent about this country. Welcome to Obama's America!  Perry/Rubio 2012 - for God, country and children like Miranda.

Thomas Macso
Thomas Macso

Here is some background on grandmother, by the way Homer, she married him at age 16 NOT 14.The motion also detailed Manning's arrest record, which included a 1995 case that was eventually dropped in which she was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Manning was also charged with child neglect in 1997, when her daughter got pregnant by Coleman. Manning was eventually sentenced to probation, according to the documents obtained by WJXX-TV.

homer5455
homer5455

Really MiamiNewTimes?  I thought more highly of you. 

The Court awarded custody to the legal father (Coleman) because he was married to the child's mother and already had custody of their three biological children.  Coleman's qualifying sexual offense was basically blessed by Manning, since she signed off on the marriage license for her then 14 year old daughter to marry a 38 year old man.

Manning had no legal right whatsoever to the child, and perhaps the Court questioned the judgment of good ol' grandma seeing as how she allowed her 14 year old daughter to live with a 37 year old man under her roof...and also how grandma had no interest in the well-being of her other three grandchildren that lived with Coleman?  Instead of parroting off the incendiary headlines purported by local news, perhaps its high time you engage in fact checking and outline the case for the public correctly.

Thomas Macso
Thomas Macso

The above misses a key point, the grandmother is no angel. On the other hand, the judge failed in his duty to determine whether the biological father would/should be given custody of the little girl. A travesty of the greatest order.

Jeminiwv
Jeminiwv

get her away from him and go into hiding u can do it there are lots of people out there that would help u hide away, I would be one of them!

tina
tina

Just wondering what the hell is wrong with the a$$holes that supposed to represent the "LAWS IN FLORIDA" did they all fleet the country and let satin take over or what????

Kansasfan2008
Kansasfan2008

I think the little girl should go live her grandma

Kubskids
Kubskids

are you kidding me, why would a judge put a little girl in the hands of a sex offender?  What is wrong with this picture.

LAFOND JUDY
LAFOND JUDY

WHAT ARE THE JUDGES THINKING THESE DAY'S. SEND HER TO HER GRANDMA'S HOUSE BEFORE YOU END UPP WITH ANOTHER CHILD LIKE CAYLEE.

Pumama_04
Pumama_04

OMG  !!  SO SAD for the children of Florida,,, of America,,, and of our Whole WORLD !!  THIS is Not Justice !!!! May God BLESS the child !! <3

Fllady13
Fllady13

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE THAT LITTLE GIRL SHOULD BE WITH HER GRAND MOTHER NOT A SEX OFFENDER....THAT JUDGE SHOULD BE FIRED FOR THIS...HE WILL HAVE THIS ON HES HEAD IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO THAT LITTLE GIRL.........

Mommomnancy
Mommomnancy

This is disgusting what kind of judge would put a child with a sex offender no matter who he is to the child. Does this judge have children. What is happening to this world people getting away with killing their kids,beating their kids etc. What the hell is going on.

PJC
PJC

What state representatives can we email about this?

hmm
hmm

I agree. Also, although this guy was made to register as a sex offender, the only instance of a sex offense from him that we know about was when he got a 14-year-old pregnant, but then he married her.

Sex offender does not equal rapist or something similar in every case.

Shoulda given the kid to the grandma though. Since when do step-parents get priority over blood relatives?

In an insane world
In an insane world

Florida is the state that returns poor children to physically abusive situations where they are later killed while removing children from wealthier families on unproven allegations of abuse (in one case where the even the CHILD was saying the accuser was lying) forcing the families to fight for YEARS just to get supervised visitation rights....

Really
Really

The State didn't know Caylee Anthony was missing for 30 days because her mother failed to report it to law enforcement, not because the State was negligent in any shape or form. ..

Steve
Steve

She's an elected Florida 8th Circuit Court judge. Where do you get "liberal" nonsense? Or  is "liberal" and "*ssh*le" synonymous for you?

BDKatt
BDKatt

Rubio is not constitutionally eligible to be P,VP or Speaker.His parents were still Cuban citizens when he was born,therefore he is 'native born" & not "natural born".See Minor v.Heppersett,1874 & SR-511 2008.

homer5455
homer5455

Btw Danielle5 - the judge is a Jeb Bush (GOP) appointee, so I don't know if that changes your statement some.

homer5455
homer5455

How activist is a judge that is following Florida law as it is written?  

Sad for Grandma
Sad for Grandma

I personally would hide Grandma and the child! I'm raising my Great Grand Son and I've had him since he was 8 months old he is now almost 4 God forbid  I should ever lose him he is my life and Pa Pa and I are his. My heart goes out to this Grandma.

Nancy
Nancy

Lets throw out the baby with the bath water?  Give a second baby to a sex offender? You and this judge are not logical. You are idiots.

TomR
TomR

I agree with this post.  I'm an atty. in Jax...Conservative atty.  I normally would get upset over a story like this...with headline like this.  However, the headline is exploiting emotions and is misleading.  The deceased mother was young when she got pregnant and married the guy.  The man was perhaps a lot older than her, but she chose to be with him.  He was punished for having consensual sex with a minor.  A seventeen year old boy could be charged with having consensual sex with a 15 y.o. girl.  I believe the classification of a sex offender should not apply to these types of cases or even to a man who urinates in puiblic.  The sex offender classification should only be for those who molest children and are truely perverts.

In summary, all those who rail on this judge, call this Obama's America, etc. please direct this angst where we need it most...towards the Unions, moocher class who don't work, lying, entrenched old pols who will never allow us to change gov't., corrupt nedia and academia, etc.  Your anger is misplaced here and many are way overreacting..   

Kat318
Kat318

I got this off the page on facebook called Protect Miranda Wilkerson.

Circuit Court Judge Phyliss M. RosierJudicial Assistant:Danielle Parker,parkerd@circuit8.orgBaker County Courthouse339 East Macclenny AvenueMacclenny, FL 32063Priscilla Holloway, Judicial Assistant:(904) 259-4705 x2652 Union Danielle Parker, Judicial Assistant: (386) 496-4935 Circuit Judge FAX 904-259-0218Governor Scott of Florida(850) 488-7146 Rickscott@florida.govGovernor Nathan Deal of Georgianathan@nathandeal.orgRep. Janet Adkins (Florida)(850) 488-6920fllarry.williams@myfloridahouse.gov

KLS
KLS

google your state senator and find a government related site.

Robersondd
Robersondd

Florida family law is complex, but the judges DO have the freedom to look at circumstances individually and make rulings that protect the child's best interest despite the technicality of the law.

Poor child
Poor child

A sex offender is a sex offender!!!!! Or that man would not have chose a 14  yr old girl in the first place!

Lynn Moscoso
Lynn Moscoso

Would be good to contact the DCF and see what they do to "protect" this child.  How about the local Guardian Ad Litem office? What are they waiting for, another body bag? Disgusting.  Please everyone e-mail the governor's e-mail address and the JA at least.

homer5455
homer5455

And maybe the outcome would have been different had the grandmother filed for guardianship - she had no legal custody or right to the child.

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