Zaeyana Janae Drigs-Threats
June 22, 2011 - August 14, 2013

Zaeyana's family got together for a memorial for the little Angel who they called "Buttons" and they say was a very happy little girl. The candle light vigil was held on August 15, one day after she died. While the family remembered her, Zaeyana's 21 year old father, Deshawn Threats, was in jail waiting for his arraignment for a felony murder charge.

On August 14, a call went out to 911 saying that a child was not breathing properly, when Police got to the home, the two year old child had already died. An autopsy showed that Zaeyana had died from blunt force trauma to her abdomen.

Effie Threats, great grandmother to Zaeyana, was confused about what had happened and was having trouble sleeping, she had gone to the home and spoken to her grandson:

"He was like, "Granny, I didn't hurt my baby". He was really bent out of shape. I asked him, I said,
D, did you do that? Did you hurt her in any way" and he said "No Granny. "
Effie Threats

Effie said she had not heard of the supposed domestic violence that had taken place:

"She said that we were working on our relationship. She said if we go to counseling we'll do that
so we can raise our kids together. But still, I don't see where that could bring him to the point where
he'd want to hurt his children"



Deshawn's sister, Jermesha Threats,  said that he was a good father who had always been with his girls as much as possible, when he was not working. Deshawn had a three year old daughter with another woman as well as five month old Deshawn Jr. with Darci. Deshawn Jr. was removed from the home and Darci was told she would be able to have supervised visitation with him and his seven year old brother who was born during a relationship with a different man.

In phone calls to his family, Deshawn cried and told them that he didn't hurt his daughter and he just wanted her to wake up. Effie said that she was going to miss Zaeyana running around the house and having tea parties with her and that though she didn't talk much, she had been a very happy child who they were all going to miss. Effie and the family wanted to put Zaeyana to rest:

"And then after that, we have to figure out what's going to go on with Deshawn because
I know
he's got a long process to go through"

In June of 2014, during the court trial, Darci said that she had gone to work, leaving Deshawn home with the three children. The next morning she said, Deshawn laid Zaeyana's body on the bathroom floor and said he had found her under the bed she shared with her half sister. Assistant Prosecutor, Helen Brinkman, told the court room that Zaeyana had not died quickly after being assaulted, that the Medical Examiner's report showed that she had lived for a short period of time before she died of blunt force trauma:

"The child was hit so hard, the stomach exploded"

Defense Attorney, Richard Hillary, was questioning why there had never been a serious look at Darci as the parent who had killed Zaeyana:

"They just looked and said "OK, Mr. Threats, you did it""

Richard Hillary brought up the fact that Police took pictures of Deshawn's hands, but not Darci's and they didn't take fingerprints from what looked to be a fresh diaper that had been put on Zaeyana, saying that fingerprints might have shown that Darci was the one who had apparently changed the diaper explaining why the diaper she was wearing had not been soiled and someone had cleaned her up after she died.

It was reported that there would be no plea deal for Deshawn and that unless he decided to plead guilty to the charge of felony murder, he would face life in prison without parole. In June of 2014, Deshawn was found guilty.

It was later brought out that Darci was going to possibly be a suspect and she had been smoking Marijuana even on the day Zaeyana died. When injuries were discovered on five month Deshawn Jr., Darci posted on her Facebook page:

"So I found out that both my children had injuries to them!!! OMG (***) AHHHHHHHHHHH...Uhhhhhhh
I just can't believe this (**) - how I wish this was a dream so bad!"

Deshawn had at least four fractures to various bones in his body. This had to be painful and he had to cry, why is there no mention of this mother taking him to the Doctor to find out what was wrong? Rumors went out saying that Darci was once again pregnant and that she continued to smoke Marijuana even knowing that she had lost her son when he tested positive after being born. On her Facebook page, Darci posted:

"Well yall today is the day.....pink or blue??? We shall see in about an hour"

Darci later posted that she was going to have a boy in February. Deshawn had spoke in family court saying that he and Darci had smoked Marijuana every day at least three times a day and with his timeline of events, it showed she had been smoking Marijuana while pregnant with this fourth child. A Defense Lawyer and Darci were asking for a jury trial in a neglect case against her and they were asking that CPS turn over records as well as results of drug tests that were used against her. Deshawn defended Darci saying she was a good mother, hard working and he had been telling her to not give up fighting for her children:

"I love her and I hope everything is not getting her down too bad. She keeps still being
 a strong woman
and keeps taking care of our kids and keep, if they try to take our son,
 keep fighting to get him back"



In July of 2014, after being found guilty the prior month, Deshawn Threats was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. In court, Darci was allowed to speak to Deshawn:

"You ripped my baby away from me in the worst way imaginable. You beat my daughter
like she
was a grown man. My daughter died scared, alone and in terrible pain, probably
calling out for
her mother"

Calling him a sociopath and a monster, Darci just wanted Deshawn to admit what he had done. Deshawn smiled, looked down and shook his head in response to what she was saying to him.

Judge Donald Johnston had given Deshawn a chance to speak in court, but he chose not to. Darci had lost custody of Deshawn Jr. and had given birth to her fourth child on January 27, she said that she now had custody of all of her children:

"I have to take every day as it comes. I have to be here for all of my children"

UPDATE:
On January 24, 2018, I received and e-mail from a man who informed me that Darci does not have custody of all of her children. The father of her son Cameron let me know that he has had custody of his son for his entire life and that Darci never had any form of custody at all. Camera will soon be turning 12 years old.

Effie Threats was in court and as she hugged Darci, she said:

"Nobody wins"



In Michigan, a state watchdog agency investigated the death of Zaeyana Drigs-Threats and found that the Department Of Human Services, which runs Children's Protective Services, violated some rules before she died. Zaeyana died of internal bleeding with bruises on her face, head, arms torso, lower back and she had dried blood on her lip. An autopsy showed that she has injuries in various stages of healing, including rib fractures that were estimated to be between four and six week old.

An investigation by the Office Of Children's Ombudsman found that DHS had not followed their own rules or state laws when dealing with this case. While there were no statements saying which rules had been broken, the agency outlined their recommendations to help prevent similar deaths in the future.

CPS became involved with this family when Deshawn Jr. was born to Darci Driggs in March of 2013, with Marijuana in his system, just five months before Zaeyana died. The home, which was lived in by Zaeyana, Deshawn Threats, Darci and other children was the home where prior domestic violence problems had been reported. Darci had not made CPS aware of those problems and she missed many counseling sessions and barely took part in the meetings she attended.

An order of protection was filed at some point, against Deshawn, Darci said she was afraid that he would kill her or hurt her children. Darci stayed with Deshawn, living in the same home, even with the protection order.

The OCO recommended that CPS personnel do a review and comply with their policy which states that CPS use a report that must be used on all CPS investigation narratives. The OCO also said that State law requires CPS to refer all cases to the County Prosecutor in cases where there is evidence of child abuse or neglect. DHS told them that a mandatory training meeting had been held to review their policies.

OBITUARY:



Zaeyana Driggs-Threats, age 2, of Grand Rapids, died very unexpectedly on Wednesday, August 14, 2013. 

She was born June 22, 2011 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

Her death reminds us that her life, although brief, is to be celebrated.  We will miss her every day, but her beautiful smile will remain with us forever. 

She is survived by her parents, Darci Driggs and DeShawn Threats; her brothers, Cameron VanderVoord, and DeShawn Threats Jr.; sister, Trinity White-Threats. 

She is the cherished granddaughter of Doug and Deb Driggs, Julius and Gloria Johnson, and Jermaine Threats.  She is also survived by many great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. 

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday 11 AM at Ridgewood Christian Reformed Church, 1571 Baldwin Street, Jenison with Rev. Joel Boot and Rev. Nancy Boote officiating. 

Interment Rosedale Memorial Park. Relatives and friends may meet the family Monday from 6-9 PM at Matthysse-Kuiper-DeGraaf (Grandville), 4145 Chicago Drive SW. 

Those who wish to make memorial contributions are asked to consider the needs of the family.
Death occurred in the state of Michigan
This page was created on July 9, 2014

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