Woman sentenced in niece’s drowning

Team Radio Marketing Group - February 2, 2018 12:51 pm

Haley Primeaux

Wanita Gale Jackson aka Wanita Gaila Jimenez-Ramirez, 29, Ponca City, was sentenced to 20 years in prison with all but five years suspended on Thursday in Kay County District Court.

Jackson entered a plea of guilty or no contest on Nov. 6,  2017,  to second degree murder. An alternative charge of child neglect also was filed in the July 27, 2015, drowning death of her four-year-old niece, Haley Primeaux, at Lake Ponca.

Esther Lee Bales, 56, Primeaux’s grandmother, also was charged and convicted in the child’s death last year. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison, with credit for time served. Bales must serve 17 and a half years before becoming eligible for parole.

Ponca City Police determine the women took 16 children to the beach and did not provide adequate supervision.
Witnesses testified that Bales left the lake to go to a store and purchase cigarettes and was not at the beach when Haley Primeaux drowned.

Ponca City Police officer Steven Yinger reported in an affidavit filed in the case that he spoke with Jackson, and she said the child was on a floating device and knew how to swim. She told the officer she had not seen Haley for at least 15 minutes before someone else at the beach found her.

“I had so many kids to watch,” she stated. “Is she going to be OK? Surely she will be OK. God wouldn’t do this to me,” the affidavit stated Jackson said.

Jackson is pregnant and has been ordered to start her incarceration  on April 9, which is expected to be four weeks after giving birth.


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