Foster Parent Indicted on Manslaughter Charges for Causing the Death of 6-Year-Old Boy

Modified: May 26, 2022 3:12pm

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UPDATE (May 26, 2022): The defendant was acquitted following a jury trial in May 2022. 


Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 29-year-old Jermaine J. St. John of Buffalo was arraigned yesterday morning before Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi on one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree (Class “B” felony) and one count of Manslaughter in the Second Degree (Class “C” felony).

It is alleged that on or about Tuesday, January 1, 2019, the defendant recklessly engaged in conduct that caused serious physical injuries to a child under his care at a home on Newburgh Avenue in the City of Buffalo. The victim, 6-year-old Byron Clark, was unresponsive when he was taken to Oishei Children’s Hospital where he later died. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma.

St. John is scheduled to return on Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. for a pre-trial conference. He remains released on $50,000 bail previously posted in Buffalo City Court.

DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department for their work in the investigation.   

The case is being prosecuted by Chief John P. Feroleto of the DA’s Tactical Prosecution Unit.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.