Parents, grandparents face charges in 9-month-old's death

Julisa Gabrielle White
Julisa Gabrielle White
Harold Gene White III
Harold Gene White III
Yolanda Harris Adams
Yolanda Harris Adams
Robert Adams
Robert Adams

ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - Nearly a year after a 9-month-old baby died in Rock Hill, her parents and grandparents were charged in relation to her death.

Rock Hill Police say they investigated the death of Juliana White after toxicology reports showed fentanyl was in her system.

"The baby had enough fentanyl, just from exposure, to where that caused the baby's death," Captain Mark Bollinger with the Rock Hill Police Department said.

According to arrest warrants and investigators, the baby stayed at her grandparent's home in the 600 block of Simpson Street in Rock Hill where she was exposed to unlivable conditions.

Harold Gene White III and Julisa Gabrielle White, the baby's parents, were each charged with three counts of unlawful neglect toward a child. According to arrest warrants, there were four other children who were also exposed to unsafe conditions at the home on Simpson Street.

Rock Hill Schools confirmed that Julisa White is a teacher at Saluda Trail Middle School. She is currently on paid administrative leave.

According to arrest warrants issued by SLED, Harold White is also facing two counts of possession of other controlled substance, possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana.

Agents searched his home on Amanda Lane on April 17, 2017, and reportedly found oxycodone, hydrocodone, and cocaine in a dresser drawer. Arrest warrants say 473 grams of marijuana in a vacuum sealed bag was found in between the mattress and box spring in the master bedroom of his Amanda Lane home in Rock Hill.

Yolanda Harris Adams, the baby's grandmother, is facing five counts of unlawful conduct toward a child. The baby's grandfather, Robert Lee Adams, was also charged with neglect.

"Social Services was involved from the beginning and it's my understanding that the children involved were put in alternate placement until the investigation was completed," Captain Bollinger said.

According to the Rock Hill Court Clerk, Robert Adams and Julisa White were released on personal recognizance bonds. Yolanda Adams and Harold White bonded out, according to the clerk.

SLED assisted Rock Hill Police in the year-long investigation.

"There is a multi-disciplinary Child Fatality Review Committee that meets to review child deaths. Their role is not to assess blame but to determine what can be learned from the individual circumstances and what steps can be done by healthcare professionals and law enforcement to reduce or prevent deaths," SLED spokesman Thom Berry said in an email.

Julisa White's attorney, Leland B. Greeley, released a statement about the case.

I am sorry that the day after the Family Court ended the Department of Social Services investigation and allowed Mrs. White, a dedicated teacher of the Rock Hill School District, to continue with the cudstory [SIC] and care of her three remaining children, that Detective Felmet of the Rock Hill Police Department felt it necessary to use his great power to accuse her of, and have her arrested for, a criminal allegation. He did nothing for a year. The timing is telling.

Rock Hill Police say forensic testing, backlogs at the crime lab, and going back over interviews caused the investigation to take nearly a year.

"People watch TV and think we get results back in a day or two. That's not how it works," Captain Bollinger said. "It takes weeks or even months, sometimes based on the severity of the case, backlog and circumstances outside of our control."

Copyright 2018 WBTV. All rights reserved.