DES MOINES, Iowa — A Des Moines mom was sentenced to 32 years in prison on Monday for the death of her 5-year-old son in 2020.
In September Ericka Lynn Rankins, 38, pled guilty to six counts of child endangerment and three counts of neglect of a dependent person involving her son, Jamal, and other children.
In Dec. 2020 Rankins called 911 and claimed Jamal had fallen and wasn’t breathing, court records state. When first responders arrived they found Jamal unresponsive in the bathtub of their family home. Jamal was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy to determine Jamal’s cause of death revealed he had extensive injuries to his entire body and had suffered from physical neglect.
As the investigation unfolded Rankins left Iowa and couldn’t be located for two years. She was taken into custody in Minnesota in Nov. 2022.
Video and audio recordings were presented during Rankins’ trial. According to the Polk County Attorney’s Office, Rankins recorded herself physically and psychologically abusing Jamal.
Rankins received 10 years for each count of neglect of a dependent person and two years for each child endangerment charge, but will only serve a maximum of 32 years in prison. She will serve the sentences consecutively. A no contact order was also filed barring Rankins from seeing and speaking to her four other children.