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The Villages
Sunday, February 5, 2023

Lady Lake detectives’ dogged work culminates in guilty verdict in child’s death

The dogged detective work of a pair of Lady Lake police detectives has ended in a guilty verdict for a man convicted in the 2013 death of a 3-year-old girl.

Eric Javon Jefferson
Eric Javon Jefferson

Eric Javon Jefferson, 22, of Lady Lake was found guilty by a jury Thursday on a charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child in Lake County Court.

In July 2013, the little girl had been transported to Leesburg Regional Medical Center where she was discovered to have life-threatening injuries to her head and various injuries to the abdomen. The child was transported to Arnold Palmer Hospital where the Lady Lake Police Department Detectives Butch Perdue and Ronald Michaud  learned that the child was brain dead; she was later removed from life support and passed away.

Stewart “Butch” Perdue, Ronald Michaud, Chief Chris McKinstry and Mayor Ruth Kussard, from left. The detectives were honored in 2014 for their work at American Legion Post 347.
Stewart “Butch” Perdue, Ronald Michaud, Chief Chris McKinstry and Mayor Ruth Kussard, from left. The detectives were honored in 2014 for their work.

Their investigation revealed that, in addition to a pattern of abuse, the fatal blunt force trauma inflicted on the little girl, originally reported as a seizure, had been inflicted several days prior. No medical attention was sought and her injuries remained untreated.

Nicole Jean
Nicole Jean

After an intensive investigation lasting in excess of three months, the two detectives obtained sufficient probable cause for the arrest of Jefferson and his live-in girlfriend, Nicole M. Jean. Now 25, Jean remains free on $100,000 bond in the case.

After Thursday’s guilty verdict, Jefferson was booked at the Lake County Jail. He had been free on $100,000 bond since June 26, 2014.

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