UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - Earlier this week, a Maryland mother was indicted in the death of her 3-year old son. Romechia Simms has been charged with manslaughter, first-degree child abuse and child neglect after prosecutors say she spent two days at a La Plata playground pushing Ji’Aire Donnell Lee in a swing back in May.
Authorities say the 3-year-old boy died of dehydration and low body temperature.
Vontasha Simms continues to mourn the loss of her grandson. She is also concerned about her daughter’s history of mental health problems and that she isn’t getting the help she needs in jail.
Two days after her 24-year-old daughter was charged, Vontasha is furious that her daughter is in detention, upset about the price of her bail and angry that she can't go see her.
"I feel like my daughter hasn't been treated fairly,” she said. “That's why I’m here today basically because she hasn’t been treated fairly."
It is a mother's plea amid a horrifying nightmare. Right now, Romechia Simms sits in the Charles County Detention Center. She was indicted on Monday and her bond was set at $150,000. Her mother said their family doesn’t have the means to bail her out.
She also said her daughter has mental problems and has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. She said jail is the wrong place for her.
"Because I know Charles County Detention Center is not equipped to handle those with psychological issues,” said Vontasha.
And she fears the worst and is raising the specter of two other controversial cases where female inmates later died.
"I don't want my daughter to be another Sandra Bland or another Natasha McKenna,” Romechia’s mother told us. “I don't want her to be placed in a situation where she is not supposed to be. I don't want her life to be in danger."
She said she has not been able to visit her daughter and has only spoken to her once.
FOX 5 contacted the Charles County Sheriff's Office and they would not specifically explain the care Romechia is getting. But spokesperson Diane Richardson said if an inmate has mental or medical considerations, they are under close observation and they regularly meet with medical counselors, including psychiatrists.
As far as visitation is concerned, Richardson said it has been a longstanding policy that all inmates are only allowed to see visitors via video teleconferencing, but not in person.
We asked Vontasha Simms how her daughter is doing.
“Every day is hell for her because she has to live with this inside her every single day,” she said. “She has to deal with the fact that she was there when this happened to her son and she had no control over the situation. She was helpless.”
Vontasha told us her daughter's mental demons took over. She said her problems began in February and that she was helping her daughter as she was being treated.
Romechia Simms’ trial is expected to begin in January. She faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.