A New Jersey mother accused of killing, dismembering and burning her 23-month-old child in 2019 has rejected a plea deal offered by prosecutors and will go to trial early next year.
Nakira M. Griner, 27, initially told police that her son, Daniel Griner Jr, was abducted by an unknown assailant, but the toddler’s body was found during the search under a shed in the family home’s yard the next day, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Griner was indicted in 2019 on charges of first-degree murder, disturbing or desecrating human remains, tampering with evidence, endangering the welfare of a child, and false public alarm. At a hearing on Friday, prosecutors outlined the deal they were offering — 30 years for a guilty plea to the murder charge.
But Griner, appearing by video from jail, declined the deal and opted to go to trial, NJ.com reported. The judge set January 10, 2022, as the trial date.
CrimeOnline previously reported that Griner called 911 at about 6:30 p.m. on February 8, 2019, and said she had been attacked while walking to the store with Daniel in a stroller and her infant child strapped to her chest. The assailant knocked her down, and when she got back to her feet, Daniel and the stroller were gone.
Police immediately launched a search of the area and found the stroller — empty but for a pair of red shoes — a few blocks away from the alleged attack. But Griner began changing her story, prompting investigators to search the family home, where they discovered Daniel’s body.
Griner told investigators that Daniel had accidentally fallen down a flight of stairs and suffered bruises, so she left the boy alone and alive in his stroller “because she wanted someone to find him and help him because no one would believe her.” She later admitted hitting the boy because he wouldn’t “eat nor listen to her” — hard enough to cause bruises and knock him down the stairs.
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[Featured image: Nakira Griner and Daniel Griner Jr/handouts]