Jerice Hunter, Mom Eyed in Disappearance of 5-Year-Old Jhessye Shockley, Has an Attorney. Meet Scott Maasen

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www.KPHO.com
Valley attorney Scott Maasen will represent Jerice Hunter.
A Valley attorney -- best known for representing an escort who accused baseball villain Albert Belle of stalking her in 2006 -- has been recruited to represent Jerice Hunter, the mother of missing 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley.

Attorney Scott Maasen has agreed to represent Hunter, his office confirms to New Times. However, Maasen himself is yet to return our call.

Hunter, according to Glendale police, is the "number one focus" of the investigation into Shockley's disappearance. Glendale cops also say they don't expect to find the girl alive.

Maasen was recruited to represent Hunter by her friends and the Christian Fellowship Church in Glendale, which tried to raise money for Hunter's bail last week.

"[The Glendale Police Department] is trying to save face before Thanksgiving," Reverend Jeffrey Metcalff told a local TV station at the time.  "She will be exonerated of these charges."

Maasen reportedly met with Hunter for the first time after she was arrested on child abuse charges last week. Those charges, however, were never filed by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, and Hunter has since been released from jail.

Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, says that just because charges weren't filed last week, it doesn't mean charges won't be filed in the future -- he says the MCAO is awaiting results from an additional investigation into Hunter by the Glendale Police Department before making any charging decisions. He says his office is working closely with Glendale cops, who suspect Shockley is likely dead and plan to search for her remains in a city landfill in coming weeks.

Hunter was arrested last week and booked into jail on child abuse charges "directly related" to Shockley's October 11 disappearance.

According to court records obtained by New Times, two of Jhessye's siblings, who are now in foster care, told their foster parents about some of the abuse Shockley received at the hands of her mother, who spent four years in a California prison for child abuse -- and scolded us last month for asking whether she hurt her daughter .

Jhessye's 13-year-old sister told her foster parents that several weeks before Shockley was reported missing, Hunter came home and found her watching TV with a boy from the neighborhood. The girl told her foster parents -- and later police -- that Hunter called Jhessye a "ho" and dragged her into a bedroom where the sister could hear Jhessye screaming and crying.

Following the apparent beating, Hunter kept Shockley in a closet. Her sister told police she had to bring the 5-year-old water when Hunter was out so she wouldn't become dehydrated. She would let the her out when Hunter was gone, but quickly put Jhessye back when Hunter got home to keep her from getting in trouble.

The sister also told investigators that she saw bruises and cuts on Shockley's face and body while she was kept in the closet, and that her eyes were black and only slightly open.

The 13-year-old also told police that Shockley's hair had been pulled out and that she didn't look alive. She describes her as looking like a "zombie" and that the closet she was kept in smelled like "dead people" and was like a "grave."

All of the alleged abuse happened weeks before Hunter called police on October 11. The last time anyone saw Jhessye alive was September 22, which was the last time records show her attending school. Her sisters say they never saw Jhessye the day her mother reported her missing, when Hunter told police the older siblings were watching the girl as she ran errands.

On October 9, Hunter bought a bottle of bleach at a Walgreens. She then cleaned the entire apartment and scrubbed her shoes that were in the closet with Jhessye with bleach, the sister told police.

Court records also show that Hunter was suspected of child abuse in April, and a report was filed. It's unclear whether Child Protective Services was alerted about the reported abuse.

Hunter has made sobbing attempts to declare her innocence since the day she reported her daughter missing more than two weeks after she was last seen alive. She's blamed everyone from the media to the Glendale Police Department for not locating her daughter. When we spoke to her, Hunter went ballistic when we suggested that she hurt her daughter.

"I really think they should take the focus off of me and quit asking people -- wasting time -- if I did something to my daughter," Hunter told us last month. "They should quit holding my babies hostage and trying to get them to say something [about what happened to Jahessye]. [Authorities are] telling me 'your kids aren't saying anything.' It's been 13 days. What do they expect my babies to say that they haven't already said? [CPS] don't wanna hear 'we love our mama, we wanna go home we want our mommy' -- they don't wanna hear that. They won't let me see them because they don't want them running into my arms. They don't wanna hear them scream 'mommy.'"

We'll let you know if Maasen returns our call. Check back for updates.
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14 comments
Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

I'm sorry to say that the federal government can pick you up with no warrant and put you away for as long as they want and you won't have an attorney nor does anyone have to be informed of your incarceration.  The constitution does not apply to the people of this country.  The President just has to sign an executive order and it supercedes any laws.  Do you know why he can do that?   Look it up yourself.

Calling Elvis
Calling Elvis

How does a poor loud mouth black ghetto trash pot smoking meth addict welfare mother and child beater afford a white honky lawyer?

SternFaceSam
SternFaceSam

Why not print the truth: Snake Scott Maasen has lowered his professional standards so far as to agree to try and help a race baiter, convicted child abuser, and suspected murderer walk.

Polio pony
Polio pony

Glendale PD dropped the ball on this by treating it as a missing persons case for so long. They should have treated it as a potential homocide from the beginning. MCAO has no forensic evidence. Jerice Hunter and her posse had ample time to and have destroyed it. This was an attempt to "sweat" a confession from her. I'm happy that she missed having Thanksgiving with her family, but I'd be surprised to see charges brought. These people don't snitch.

AZAnon
AZAnon

WTF is a "potential homocide"?

"These people don't snitch"?

So, you're an idiot AND a racist, Another quality reader of the New Times.

Sunshineinabag
Sunshineinabag

Hopefully some charge will stick & she'll face a jury of her peers. Don't think Sheriff Joes jail is too fun for someone like that

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

I get really angry when I see people step forward and defend people who are charged with child abuse crimes. 

I know they are innocent until proven guilty.  I understand that. 

Maybe I shouldn't get angry but I do. 

Calling Elvis
Calling Elvis

You need 32 weeks of anger management classes for $35 bucks a class. that will cure you of your anger I promise. PS lawyers are greedy as shit thats why they do that.

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

No I don't have anger management issues.  I am a very mellow person.  It takes a lot of make me angry. 

Child abuse, no matter what type it is, I find very disturbing for very personal reasons.  I know how to deal with it but lately it seems to bother me more. 

I've watched this woman when she has done her crying to the media.  She wasn't very convincing as a grieving mother. 

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

why the Lawyers are doing their jobs. As much as many people in AZ hate lawyers they are doing their jobs. Innocent until proven guilty, and they have a right to mount a defense against the state. Otherwise Sheriff Joke could arrest you for nothing at all and you would be sent to some hole in the ground and never been seen again. So unllike you I value the Constitution and the rights it gives us, including the rights to have a lawyer and the right to free speech...etc....

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

You are wrong....never assume.....I do value the consitution. If I didn't I wouldn't work so hard at what I do.  What I have a hard time with is people who violate kids.  I take it personal.  I shouldn't but I do. 

She should have a defense...but for this guy to do it makes me wonder what his agenda might be.

 I have met some honest legitimate lawyers.  They all aren't horrible people.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

Pearls before swine, Eleanor. Thank you for sharing your honest, heartfelt thoughts. It is not unreasonable to struggle with or question the ulterior motives of those like Masson. He is not court appointed counsel and she is not in any position to retain private counsel, meaning he is more than likely taking this client on free of charge. His exposure has already exceeded any amount of billboards or commercial time during the Jerry Springer show.

Its not a bad strategy for someone who lacks moral integrity. He is appealing to his potential clientele.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

he does it because it's his job. Whether the people are guilty or not doesn't matter. And by your own admission I was right in a sense. You ignore the Constitutional rights for one type of suspect, which is wrong. ALL defendants accused of ANY crime are required to have a lawyer for their defense.

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