When Natalynn Lea Miller
would be with her mother, Nicole Lee and her boyfriend, Ryann Jones,
she would often have un- explained bruises on her body. It seems that
Nicole knew that Ryann was abusing her this little Angel and did
nothing about it. Nicole even left Ryann alone with Natalynn at times
and on March 22, 2009, she left for work seemingly without a care in
the world about what could or would happen to Natalynn while she was
gone. True to what we all know about child abusers, something DID
First responders to a 911 call found a shocking scene when they arrived
and in a grassy area, they tried to revive this beautiful little girl.
Ryann Jones told them something about her having been in the bath tub,
though at that time, they were not sure what he was talking about.
Natalynn was supposed to be in the care of Ryann, but it seems that
just the opposite was taking place:
"She was pale in the
face. Her hair was wet and a light colored blue shirt was soaking wet"
Natalynn's body had more
than 30 bruises all over it and Ryann claimed that she had fallen and
that later she was playing in her room and he heard a thump. Of course
Nicole stood up for Ryann rather than her daughter and said that Ryann
had not killed Natalynn, that it had been an accident.
Ryann Jones was charged with
one count of murder and one count of child abuse after the autopsy
results showed that Natalynn had died from blunt force trauma to her
head and body. Nicole Lee, Natalynn's mother, was facing charges of
child endangerment with what is called a "special allegation" of
willful harm or injury causing death, possession of Marijuana and drug
During Ryann's trial, Detective Hughes said that when they arrived,
they tried to resuscitate Natalynn, they had to cut her clothing off
and that is when they noticed that she was covered in bruises. When
Natalynn arrived at the hospital, she was immediately pronounced dead
by Dr Kealani Sine who saw the injuries on Natalynn's body and
immediately ordered tests that would show if there was any internal
injuries that she had suffered:
"I was concerned that
it was non accidental trauma and requested a skeletal survey
scan be performed"
Photos shown in court were of the grass where Natalynn had been, inside
the home and pictures of Natalynn's bruised and battered body. Pictures
showed what was said to be vomit and blood on the kitchen counter of
the home. In true Defense Attorney style, questions were brought up
about the paramedics who had done CPR on Natalynn in order to try to
save her life. Back blows were done on her and the Defense tried to
make it sound as though the bruises she had on her body had been caused
by the CPR.
Troy Miller, Natalynn's father had this to say:
"Natalynn was terrified
of her mother's boyfriend and expressed her fears to me
on many occasions. Despite her promise to me and Natalynn not to allow
new boyfriend to care for her anymore, her mother left Natalynn in his
she went to work on Sunday and sadly, she is now dead"
There's a huge red flag, if
you have to PROMISE to NOT allow your boyfriend to care
for your child, then you need to rethink the relationship and do what
has to be done to protect your child, NOT
the relationship. Clearly Nicole didn't care about Natalynn, she was
just another mother out there looking for a man, ANY man, to be in her life.
In December of 2013, a jury found Ryan Jones, who was 25 years old,
guilty of second degree murder in the death this little Angel faced
girl. Judge Joseph Kalashian sentenced him to 25 years to life in
prison. Before handing down the sentence, the Judge made it known that
he was sure that Ryann had killed Natalynn in a fit of rage that day
and he spoke about a past conviction in which Ryann had abused a
ex-girlfriend. Phillip Cherney, Ryann's defense Lawyer had asked for a
"The law is that the
presumption favors defenses council's strategic choices during
course of the trial"
Well, Phillip, the law says not abuse and kill children, Ryann didn't
law, now DID
he? Judge Kalashian denied the
request for a new trial. Victims were allowed to give impact statements
and at one point, Troy was out of control
and the Judge had to ask him to stop:
"She used to tremble
whenever his name had to be brought up or she had to speak
about him. She would tremble in fear just talking about him and he's
this loving guy. Oh, he's gonna take such great care of Natalynn, oh
be a big dad and a good friend F**K YOU - F**K YOU. I don't think
formula or equation that you could use to calculate the pain that has
Judy Plowman, Natalynn's grandmother had treats in her eyes when she
"Many nights I lay
awake unable to sleep, wishing I could have her back for just one hour,
enough for one more glimpse of her smile, her sparkling blue eyes, her
Ryann's Lawyers had plans to appeal this sentence.
In June of 2014, the trial of Nicole Lee was taking place and Nicole
was taking the stand in her own defense. Nicole was being questioned by
her Lawyer, Dan Harralson and he asked her how she met Troy Miller and
what had lead to their break up. Nicole said that she had been a victim
of domestic abuse in their home and that she had been concerned when
Natalynn was visiting with Troy after their breakup because he would
often have no food , his utilities would get shut off from time to time
and there had been a drive by shooting, she said she was worried.
Nicole's mother, was asked by the Prosecutor, Brenda Broker, was asked
if she thought her granddaughter was accident prone:
"I don't think she's
accident prone, I think she's a toddler"
On July 15, 2014, after having been found guilty on June 9, 2014 of
felony child abuse with the "Special Allegation, Nicole Lee was
sentenced by Judge Valeriano Saucedo to eight years in prison, four for
each count she was found guilty of. In her case, her Defense Lawyer
also requested and was denied by the Judge, a new trial and they
requested that Nicole be let on on bail pending an appeal that request
was also denied:
"The defendant, Lee,
failed to protect her three and a half year old daughter, Natalynn
and knowing left her in the care of her violent boyfriend Ryann Jones.
numerous injuries while under Jones' care, ultimately leading to her