The mother of a 4-year-old child who was stabbed to death Friday evening has been charged with first-degree murder, the St. Petersburg Police Department said.
Tasha Trotter, 40, used a kitchen knife to stab her son multiple times at her mother’s apartment, police said.
She was taken into custody shortly after the stabbings, police said. She didn’t give a statement to police and the motive for stabbing her son is unknown, police said.
Her son, Joseph Artis, who lived with his grandmother, 64-year-old Carolyn Trotter, at the Jordan Park Apartments, 2427 13th Ave. S., St. Petersburg, was transported to a local hospital after the stabbing where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Trotter was on the front porch of her mother’s apartment when her mother and Joseph arrived at the home late Friday afternoon. The grandmother may have picked up the boy from a daycare and brought him to her home, police said.
All three entered the home along with Trotter’s brother, who left the apartment before the stabbing occurred, police said.
The grandmother told investigators that Trotter was acting erratically and not in her typical manner, police said.
Trotter has had a history of mental issues, and investigators believe she snapped, police said.
She went into the kitchen, grabbed a knife and returned to the room where her son was, police said.
The boy’s grandmother tried to stop Trotter but wasn’t successful.
Trotter stabbed her son multiple times, police said.
A neighbor heard the boy’s grandmother screaming and ran into the apartment to witness the stabbing, police said. The neighbor ran out of the apartment just after 6 p.m. to get help and found two St. Petersburg police officers nearby directing traffic along 22nd Street South.
The two officers followed the neighbor to the apartment and saw Trotter walking out of the apartment carrying her son. Joseph was unconscious and suffering from multiple wounds, police said.
Trotter put the boy on the ground and officers administered CPR until paramedics arrived.
Paramedics then transported Joseph to Bayfront Hospital in St. Petersburg where he was pronounced dead.
Carolyn Trotter told investigators that her daughter had stabbed the boy. She completed her interview with investigators and was going to stay with relatives for the time being, police said.
The grandmother has had custody of Joseph for three years.
Trotter, who lives in another home in St. Petersburg, has visited her son in the past, police said.
Trotter is the mother of two adult children and a younger child who don’t live in the area, police said.