Nadine Lockwood
September 1991 - August 31, 1996
Find A Grave Memorial

When children do not go to school or even get enrolled, that should be a red flag sending up warnings of epic proportions. Yet when Carla Lockwood didn't enroll her children in school, it seems no one batted an eye, the children just didn't go. When they were finally enrolled, they were what is called educationally deprived from missing so much school.

Nicole Lockwood missed on average, about 80 days of school a year, but still, she was promoted each year until she reached the sixth grave and missed every day of school. Nicole's teacher didn't report her absence, or try to figure out why she was not at school, he said he could not find her and took her out of the system. Visiting her apartment building a few times, knocked on the door each time and when no one answered he quit visiting and marked her as "not found", which was an acceptable response to the school system when a child can't be found. Nicole would not return to school until after her sister died and she herself was placed in a foster home.

In the home were three younger, school aged, children, Nathan who was seven, Natasha who was six and Nicholas who was five years old, none of these children were enrolled in school, Nicole kept them at home until an accusation of child abuse lead to a visit from the Child Welfare Agency and Nicole was told she had to enroll her children in school. Even after enrolling them into school, Nicole managed to allow them miss at least 212 days of school, between them. One of these children missed 128 in one year and officials at the school from teachers to the principal did nothing about it. None of the adults who are responsible for the children in the school ever made an attempt to call the State Central Register to report the absences.

 As well as poor attendance, the school aged children were not vaccinated, they repeatedly missed physical exams and appointments with doctors in the years 1995 - 1996. Even the school nurse didn't find that the children had no health records until January of 1996. Armed with all of this information, when they finally paid attention and noticed that things were not right in the home, none of the adults did the right thing, report the information they had. As it turned out, Nathan was in the second grade his teacher thought he should be in special education classes, however, he was never sent to the classes because he was not getting the medical attention he needed for hearing, vision and motor skills problems.

Also in the home at this time was four year old Nadine, who was not of school age. Not being of school age was unfortunate since if she had at least been attending school even part time, Nadine might be alive today. Nadine was found in her home, locked in a room, laying in a covered crib, Nadine had not been fed and when she was found she weighed only 15 1/2 pounds, at the age of four. Carla Lockwood was charged with the murder of her daughter and when policed questioned her, she told them that she hated the child, who she called "it", and she was singled out for abuse.

In September of 1996, a review was taking place by the New York City Child Welfare Officials who wanted to know why and how Nadine was left to starve to death when the agency knew there were problems in the home. It was said that it would be months before the a determination could be made though a preliminary investigation was started, according to Maggie Lear, a spokesperson for the Administration For Children's Services.

Carla was due in court, though she started having stomach pain and since she was pregnant, needed medical care. Court was postpone while she was taking to the Hospital, with workers saying it was undetermined how long she would be there. Even so, Nicholas Scopetta, Commissioner Of Children's Services said
that two of Carla's children had been born with drugs in their system and that there was a history of drugs within the family. With that information in their files, the children were not removed from the home and Nicholas said that the last time the family had been visited by the agency was May of 1995:

"I assure you that we have embarked on a complete and thorough investigation of all the
contacts that the agency had with this family"

It's too late NOW, Nicholas. The time to act this severely was BEFORE a child died. Luckily, the other six children were place a foster home where they could stay together and they were showing no signs of abuse.

Carla plead guilty to second degree murder and was given a sentence of 15 years to life. We all know what that means, she'll be out in no time.

After the death of Nadine, Leroy Dickerson, who was the father of seven of Carla's children, stated that he had walked away from his family and his responsibility to them. Leroy had not seen his wife or his children for about four months. Leroy did attend Nadine's funeral and a crowd of people who had come to the funeral, though they were not allowed in the Funeral Chapel, waiting outside with toys for Nadine and screamed hateful things at Leroy when he exited the Chapel.

People in the crowd didn't know Nadine, but they screamed "You need to be dead too" and "Go to jail", at Leroy as he walked out of the Chapel. The anger of other crowd members was for the family:

"Here comes the family. Where was the family when she was starving to death"
Alethea Briggs

Leroy did his best to ignore what the crowd was saying while one of Nadine's sisters covered her face and her brother covered his head with his jacket. Leroy's sister said the crowd was being disrespectful towards this family while they were grieving:

"They don't know the situation, they should mind their own business"

Pallbearers come out of the Chapel carrying a small, white casket and the crowd became quiet. Reverend Herman P. Watts of the Friendship Baptist Church has officiated the ceremony in which about 50 people were in attendance:

"He gave a eulogy about a little girl growing up and how she should have been allowed
to live out her life. One of the children comforted the father. She constantly wiped his tears"
Reverend George Barfield

During the ceremony the song "Jesus Loves Me" was sang by those who attended and one family member read a poem that had been written by Nadine's Grandmother.
Sadly, the only picture I could find of Nadine, was of her coffin.

As it turned out, Leroy would not be held blameless in the death of Nadine. Leroy and Carla had an on again off again relationship in which he would come and go as he pleased. Leroy is reported to have know that Nadine was being starved and even participated in the hateful, disgusting treatment of his daughter, not allowing her to eat and making her stay in a crib all the time. Leroy was tried and found guilty and then he appealed the decision.

In court it was stated that while playing "flight school" with his children Leroy threw Nadine up against the ceiling and injured her back and at one point when Nadine was crying he said he would give her something to cry about, stuff her in a plastic bag and while swinging the bag around, it broke causing her to slam into a dresser and causing a big gash above her eyebrow, Leroy did nothing to help her. An anonymous call to to the child abuse hotline in 1995, cause Police to come to the home. The complaint to the hotline said that there was a child in the home, Nadine, who looked like a third world child, that she was being isolated from her family and starved, nothing happened during that visit. In July of 1995 when another complaint was filed, a neighboring child was at the home and was passed off as Nadine, so the Police found that the complaint was false.

During his appeal, Leroy tried to say that the autopsy pictures of Nadine should not have been admitted into the trial because they were inflammatory and irrelevant. REALLY? I guess the fact that the pictures showed exactly what was done to this little Angel and who had done it, Leroy must have thought that he shouldn't be held accountable for his actions. The pictures shown to the jury had revealed exactly how thin Nadine was, showing total lack of body fat and that she was mostly bones. Leroy felt that if the pictures had not been shown in court, he might not have been found guilty.

Leroy said that while he thought Nadine was thin, he didn't believe she was in any danger. Claiming that the court had not taken into account the background circumstances before convicting him, he said that he was only being punished because he was an absent father at times. Leroy felt that because this was his first offense and that since he had served in the military and his neighbors seemed to like him, he should not be held responsible for what happened to this child. Adding to his defense, Leroy and his Lawyer stated that Nadine was suffering from Rett Syndrome which contributed to her death, Leroy was willing to accept his part in what happened, but felt that his sentence of 25 years to life was not right considering Carla, the person who he felt had the most responsibility in the death of Nadine, only got 15 years to life.

While the court noted that Carla's sentence was seen as too short and not appropriate in the eyes of some, it was also noted that Nadine's death was so horrible and that Leroy showed no signs of remorse and only wanted to cast the blame on to Carla and even with the circumstances of Leroy  having a good employment record and having served in the military, what happened to Nadine was beyond horrible and Supreme Court Judge Michael J. Obus upheld the original sentence of 25 years to life.

Thank you goes to Taina for asking me to add Nadine.

This page was created on May 20, 2014
Death Occurred in the state of New York

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