A Chicago woman charged in the death of her 5-year-old son Ja’Shawn Bussell in Davenport last year is now competent to stand trial after undergoing several months of restoration treatment, a judge ruled Tuesday.
District Court Judge Thomas Reidel said during a short hearing Tuesday that the proceedings can resume against Jacqueline M. Rambert, 25, who is charged with first-degree murder, child endangerment-multiple acts, and child endangerment resulting in death.
The judge in February determined that Rambert suffered from a mental disorder that prevented her from appreciating the charge, understanding the proceedings or assisting effectively in her defense and ordered that she receive restoration treatment at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coralville.
On Tuesday, Reidel ordered that Rambert be returned to the Scott County Jail. A trial date has not yet been set.
Rambert's co-defendant Tre D. Henderson, 27, also of Chicago, is also charged with first-degree murder, child endangerment-multiple acts, and child endangerment resulting in death in the boy's death.
On April 27, 2018, Rambert called 911 because her son was choking and unresponsive, according to an arrest affidavit filed in the case. He was taken to Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street, Davenport and later airlifted to University Hospitals, Iowa City with life-threatening injuries.
Bussell died May 1, 2018; an autopsy determined he died from complications of blunt force injuries of the head. The autopsy also revealed numerous injuries of the torso and extremities, including multiple healing rib fractures and contusions of the diaphragm.
Rambert and Henderson were caregivers of the boy and "knowingly acted in a manner which created substantial risk to the child's safety," according to the affidavit, and were the sole occupants of a Davenport apartment where the injuries occurred. They also would have knowledge "that the abuse and injuries were occurring, according to the affidavit." Rambert was arrested in Chicago in August. Henderson was arrested in Indiana.
Henderson was slated to go to trial in August. On Tuesday, Reidel granted his motion to continue to give the defense additional time to consult with potential expert witnesses.
This case rests largely on medical testimony and additional time is needed for the defense to determine what areas of expertise may be required, to consult with potential expert witnesses in each area and coordinate scheduling should any expert witnesses be retained.