I-Team: Deputy disciplined for not notifying Dept. of Human Resources following welfare check on child

Jayla's family members are not currently facing any charges.

Posted: Nov 30, 2018 3:24 PM
Updated: Dec 6, 2018 2:38 PM

UPDATE: According to the Lawrence County sheriff, Gene Mitchell, the deputy, David Crittenden, was fired for not following policy. Mitchell said he had been working with the sheriff’s office for several years.


A Lawrence County sheriff's deputy will be punished because he failed to call the Department of Human Resources while doing a welfare check on a child, 12-year-old Jayla Sutton, who is now dead after walking away from her home on Thanksgiving. She was struck and killed on Highway 157.

The Lawrence County sheriff, Gene Mitchell, admits one of his deputies failed to notify DHR and says the deputy will face disciplinary action. Mitchell did, however, say that he can't go into specifics on the deputy's punishment because it's a personnel matter.

"That's where we felt like our guy fell short. He should have followed up and made sure DHR had the information on it," he said.

Mitchell said from May of 2017 to present, the sheriff's office has had three calls involving Jayla and her family.

"It was always something around the kids and things like that," he said.

On two occasions Jayla, who is visually impaired and mentally disabled, walked away from her home unclothed and neighbors called 911. The first incident happened in December of 2017 and the latest happened Thanksgiving morning.

"She was walking down the road without any clothes and went to the neighbor's house," Mitchell said.

Jayla's family members are not currently facing any charges.

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