Jaidon Edward Morris
May 20, 2006 - March 19, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial

Jaidon Morris was 22 months old when he was taken from a loving, caring, nurturing foster home and given back to a mother who abused drugs:

"The last thing we said to him was, "You'll be okay""
Dione Scotti - Foster Mother

Little did she know that she would never see him alive again because a week later, Jaidon died of a drug overdose.

When Jaidon was almost a year old, he had been taken to the hospital with a fractured skull and a hemorrhaging retina. It seems Jaidon had been left with an "uncle", I use the term lightly, who was abusing drugs. Jaidon was taken from his mother and went to live in the home of Anthony and Dione upon his release from the hospital. Jaidon's parents couldn't get their acts together long enough to get off drugs and be the kind of parents they were supposed to be, so he went to foster care.

Anthony and Dione hoped that they could one day adopt Jaidon, who was changing from the sullen child who never wanted to be held, into a happy, healthy loving child. A call came about ten months later that shattered their world, a Judge, for whatever reason, had decided that it would be okay for Jaidon to go live with his drug addicted mother.
Social Workers showed up and drove away with Jaidon. BIG MISTAKE!

A week later, the Scotti's got a call that Jaidon was in the hospital and was not doing well at all:

"He was on life support. There was nothing there. It was horrible, one of the worst days
of my life. How do you take that"
Dione Scotti

Jaidon had overdosed on Hydrocodone, which was the active ingredient in his grandmother's  prescription cough medication. Hydrocodone is in the same drug family as Morphine and Heroin and can cause many complications including breathing trouble and cardiac arrest.

Jaidon had been taken to his mother's house just a short time before having to be taken to the hospital. Latasha Honeycutt, who ws 26 years old at the time, was told by Donna and Jamie that he needed to see a doctor, but he never did until it was too late. Latasha told Police that she gave Jaidon a cup of milk and put him to bed and when she changed his diaper at 8:00 a.m., he was still asleep and when she checked on him two hours later he was unresponsive. A call went out to 911 and Jaidon was taken to Baptist Easley Hospital and from there he was flown to Greenville.

Donna Lynn Phillips, who was Jaidon's 55 year old grandmother, was arrested and convicted of homicide by child abuse, her sentence was 25 years in prison. Jamie Edward Morris, Jaidon's 28 year old father, was also arrested and found guilty of aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse and he was sentenced to only eight years. Both of these people kept denying that either had given Jaidon any medication. Prosecutor Doug Richardson said:

"My theory was the child was fussy in their care and they started to medicate him with cough
medicine, probably just to make him sleep because they didn't want to hear him cry"

After Jaidon's death, the Scotti's took steps to get a law passed to stated that children could not be returned to parents who were abusing drugs. Representative Mike Forrester was pushing for changes in laws and starting in 2009, had three times introduced the bill in the South Carolina House, two times he was not successful. The bill would give better guidelines about terminating parental rights, more specifically in cases where the parent or parents have a history of child abuse or drug use. Drug abusing parents would have to take drug tests as well as pass treatment programs in order to keep their children.

The Scotti's and other children's advocates were hoping that "Jaidon's Law" would be passed because the laws currently on the books leave a lot of discretion to the Judges which leaves room for relapsing which could cause problems for the children in the home and from being taken from the home and put into foster care several times.

As it turned out, a court appointed child advocate and been against Jaidon going back to his parents, but the Judge decided that the opinion of the person who was looking out for the child, didn't matter and Jaidon went to live with his mother. A big part of the problem seems to be that people think that children should be with "family". If there is no REAL family structure, then children shouldn't be with them. If I can figure that out, why can't the people who keep sending children to their deaths time after time:

"I don't believe he should ever have been sent home. This cannot happen again. If I could
write the whole law, I would"
Dione Scotti

The Scotti's were there when Jaidon's killers were brought to justice and have continued to foster children and even adopted a little girl. Dione says that she hopes the outcome of her efforts will be that more people will get involved in foster care. Dione says that there are not enough people who fight for foster kids or changes in the system and that she realized that the process is a long, slow one:

"It's really devastating, just waiting and hoping. There's more changes in state law that really need
to take effect"

In May of 2014, Jaidon's Law was okay-ed as a bill and it would make it more difficult for Judges to just hand children over to parents who were abusing drugs. Mike Forrester said that Jaidon's story had been a horror story where he had just been put into a playpen all day and left there without being held or hugged at least until he went into foster card:

"I'm all about sending kids back to their biological parents. But in this case, there was not
drug testing for the parents"

Jaidon's Law would also enable the Department Of Social Services more say in ending or suspending contact with parents and children when the contact was deemed to be harmful to the child as well as enabling them to ask that rights of parents be terminated if drug treatment programs are not completed. Dione said she was happy that things had gone this far:

"But I'm nervous that it's not going to go through again. It's running out of time. It's very hard when
there is a lot of stuff up on the plate and you say "How can we compete". This is something that
is close to my heart. It's holding people accountable"

In June of 2014, Jaidon's Law was officially passed as a law.

I am unable to find any information stating anything other than Latasha Honeycutt was charged in the death of Jaidon, I can't find anything to say if she was ever convicted or sentenced.

Jaidon Edward Morris
May 20, 2006 - March 19, 2008

Life Legacy
Jaidon E. Morris
Easley, S.C.

Jaidon Edward Morris, 22-months old, of 119 Old Sawmill Road, died Wednesday, March 19, 2008.

Jaidon was the infant son of Jamie Edward Morris of Pickens and Latasha Honeycutt of the home. Also surviving are a sister, Ava Alexis Roper of the home; maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Honeycutt of Florida; paternal grandmother, Donna Lynn Phillips of Pickens; and an adopted grandmother, Sherry Price. Jaidon was predeceased by his paternal grandfather, George Edward Morris, Jr.; and his maternal grandfather, Gentry Honeycutt.

Funeral services will be 3:00 P.M. Monday at Midway Baptist Church, Pickens. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.
The family will receive friends at the church on Monday from 2:00 P.M. until 3:00 PM, prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Friends of the Pickens County Guardian Ad Litem Program; PO Box 1692; Easley, SC 29641.

Condolences may be expressed online at www.robinsonfuneralhomes.com or in person at Robinson Funeral Home - Downtown which is assisting the family.

UPDATE: September 12, 2014

After receiving an e-mail from someone claiming to be Jaidon's mother, I did some research and was able to find that in July of 2012 Latasha Honeycut was found not guilty in the death of Jaidon.

I also received the same update from another woman, thank you Rebecca for your help with this story.

UPDATE: November 30, 2021

After receiving an e-mail from someone saying they are the daughter of Donna Lynn Phillips and that I had this story all wrong. I did a bit more research and found out that Donna died on February 20, 2017. No information was given in her obituary to indicate her cause of death.

I have received several e-mails at this point, from a man claiming to be Donna's son. First of course, was threatening me to sue for the lies I told in this story. As always, I have offered the son and daughter of Donna the opportunity to tell their side of this story and both have declined to do so. I have three e-mails from the son, sitting in my mail box, I have read one so far and he informed me that I lied and I will face God some day. He also said I had the state of death wrong, he though the "Death occurred in the state of" sentence applied to his mother, it does not, it applies to his son and I have corrected it.

I was also informed that Donna died in a prison infirmary, that makes my heart hurt for her, it truly does. I was under the impression that serious cases were transferred to a hospital, I guess I was incorrect with that assumption. I was told by this man that he hopes I burn for telling lies. He claims that Jaidon died due to the actions of Latasha, even though none of the substances found in his system were any of the drugs she allegedly did. If the truth of these two people, the children of Donna is so important to be told, why tell it to only me? Why  not tell it for the world to read? I do not understand, but I don't have to. The truth is in the autopsy and lab results, this child died from ingesting a medication found in his grandmothers home, not the home of his mother.

I am currently in e-mail contact with the Father and Aunt of Jaidon. I have been asked to remove his page from my site as it has no actual facts, in their opinion. Insisting that Latasha Honeycutt and was responsible for the death of Jaidon due to the fact that she is addicted to drugs and abuses them, I was told Latasha and her boyfriend Brandon were just arrested for drug use, though I am unable to find anything online about it, I will continue to search.

I have read everyone news story about this that I can find, I have read court records and more, I am being told by the son that he has proof or someone who has proof about what really happened. I am waiting to see if that proof will be provided or not. I have, ONCE AGAIN, offered to allow these two individuals to tell their truth, their side of this story, I have stated I will leave it exactly as they type it and let them say what they need to say. Neither of the two siblings has taken me up on my offer for them to tell their story.

I am providing this link for anyone who wants to read about the court case:

Supreme Court of South Carolina
The STATE, Respondent, v. Donna Lynn PHILLIPS, Petitioner
Nos. 2015-000351, 27607.


Death occurred in the state of South Carolina
This page was created on July 2, 2014

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