Couple charged in connection to Dallas toddler's death fight for custody

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The family of the couple charged in connection with the death of a Dallas toddler want their children to stay in their custody.

At a custody hearing on Tuesday, a judge decided one of the children who lived in the apartment with Cedric “CJ” Jackson will now live with relatives.

Chrystal Jackson is charged with child endangerment. Police say her boyfriend, Sedrick Johnson, admitted to disposing of CJ's body.

The judge only heard one of the custody cases on Tuesday because Johnson remains in the Dallas County jail and did not have an attorney to represent him at the custody hearing.

Shielded by her attorney, Chrystal Jackson had nothing to say after a judge ordered one of her two children, an 8-year-old girl, to be placed in the temporary custody of the girl's paternal grandmother, Sharon O'Keke.

O’Keke's son and the girl's biological father, Devonte Hackney, says his mother is best suited to care for the girl.

“I'm happy but no content,” Hackney said. “Because at the end of the day, I want her home for good.”

The judge also ordered that Chrystal have no contact with her daughter due to her pending criminal case. Last month, she was charged with child endangerment after her nephew, CJ, was found dead in a Rowlett landfill.

Dallas police detectives have said Johnson placed CJ in a dumpster after the boy became unresponsive. Chrystal is accused of initially lying to police after the boy disappeared.

CJ had been placed in his aunt's care in May through a CPS custodial agreement. At the time, CPS says it was unaware that Johnson, a man with an extensive criminal history, was living in the home with CJ and six other kids.

Five of the kids were Johnson’s. His mother wants custody of them. A judge is hearing that case next week.

“The ultimate goal is to have all of these children placed with family members if possible,” said Marissa Gonzales, a CPS spokesperson.

“They have family to support them. And that's why we're here today to support the kids,” said Samantha Mitchell, Johnson’s mother. “It was bad decision making, and we're just going to move forward.”

Chrystal wanted the judge to keep her 8-year-old daughter in foster care along with her sister until a home study could be conducted on another relative.

Johnson is expected to attend the next custody hearing where the fate of his five kids should be determined.