Mother of missing S.C. boy facing assault charge
COLUMBIA — The mother of a Columbia boy who has been missing since last year is now facing an assault charge, according to jail records.
Zinah Jennings, 23, was charged this week with third-degree assault and battery. Her attorney has said that the charge stems from an allegation that his client pushed and shoved a jailhouse nurse over medication earlier this summer.
A judge ordered that Jennings take Risperdal, an antipsychotics drug, after an evaluation found that she suffers from schizophrenia. She has been evaluated by mental health officials, who found that Jennings has schizophrenia.
After the altercation with the nurse earlier this summer, Jennings was ordered to be held in solitary confinement for 90 days.
Jennings has been in jail since late last year on a charge of cruelty to children. Authorities say she has refused to tell them the whereabouts of her son, 2-year-old Amir Jennings.
The young mother is pregnant with a second child. Her trial on the cruelty charge is set to begin this month.
Last month, police said during a preliminary hearing that bloodstains found in the trunk of Jennings’ car belong to her missing son. Her attorney has asked that the blood not be allowed to be used as evidence in her upcoming trial and also wants a judge to suppress search warrants and statements that Jennings made to police during their investigation.