A 19-year-old man was arraigned Thursday on suspicion of raping the 12-year-old girl who died in March after overdosing on prescription drugs.
Andrew Tyler Walker, 19, of the 1800 block of Knox Street, allegedly received oral sex from Serena Garrett the morning of March 25, the day she died from overdosing on a cocktail of powerful painkillers -- morphine, methadone and tramadol, according to court records.
Walker faces a charge of first-degree sexual assault on a child, a class two felony that carries a sentence of one to 50 years, and felony child abuse, which carries up to five more years.
“What self-respecting 19-year-old man is going to let a 12-year-old perform oral sex on him?” asked Remilya Boyd, a relative of Serena who showed up to court with the girl’s mother. “She can’t make those kinds of decisions.”
Judge Mary Doyle set Walker’s bond at 10 percent of $15,000 on Thursday afternoon and ordered him not to have contact with any children under 16. Walker still was in custody at the Lancaster County Jail on Thursday evening.
Ashley Elaine Jackson, 23, of the 9000 block of Eagleton Lane, also was arraigned on a class three felony in connection with the death of Serena, who was a seventh grader at Goodrich Middle School. Jackson faces a charge of felony child abuse.
Doyle set Jackson’s bond at 10 percent of $10,000 and ordered her to stay away from children under 16 years old, other than her own kids. Jackson’s bond was posted Thursday afternoon and she was released from jail.
Lancaster Deputy County Attorney Daniel Zieg on April 24 told the county's juvenile court that Jackson was dangerous to her children, because of Serena's death and because she tested positive for methamphetamine on April 1. A judge is set to decide what will happen to her children on May 29.
Jackson allegedly asked Serena and a 13-year-old girl to babysit her 1-year-old twin boys while she went out that Saturday night in March, and gave the girls permission to have friends over. Before leaving, she brought Walker and two 14-year-old boys to her house.
She also bought the kids alcohol and smoked meth with Walker before heading out for the night, according to court records. One of the teenagers told police that Jackson gave them marijuana.
After Jackson went out, Serena took several painkillers, all powerful opiates. Walker, too, took methadone.
That doesn't jibe with how Debbie Harvey remembers her granddaughter. Serena was a creative girl who got good grades and got along with everybody, Harvey said. When she wasn't at school or doing homework, she liked to dance, draw and write poetry.
“She was a nice, quiet person,” the grandmother said after leaving the courtroom.
A witness told investigators she was in bed with Serena, Walker and another boy, according to court documents. She saw Serena go under the covers. Serena later told the 13-year-old witness that she performed oral sex on Walker.
Jackson returned home in the morning and found Serena unresponsive. Acting on Jackson’s instructions, Walker and the teenager tried to revive Serena by putting her in a cold shower.
About a half hour passed between Jackson’s discovery of an unconscious Serena and when a call to 911 was made at about noon, according to court documents.
An ambulance took Serena to Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Doyle assigned the public defender’s office to represent both Walker and Jackson. Their preliminary hearings are set for June 5.