Grandparents of Deceased Baby Want Paternity Proved Before Settlement is Distributed

By: Lanetra Bennett
July 25, 2014

Tallahassee, FL - New developments in the case where two staff members were fired and one resigned amid allegations that a woman in the mental hospital was ignored while in labor.

A settlement has now been reached for $1 million. But, the baby's grandparents are trying to keep the man now claiming to be the baby's father from getting a piece of that check.

Kenneth Wills and Bobbie Akins say their grandson fought for his life. Now, they're fighting Michael Jones in court.

They say they don't believe Jones is the father of baby Elon. Therefore, he should not be entitled to a chunk of a $1 million settlement.

Wills says, "Give the DNA and let's get this behind us. Let's have some closure in this matter."

The settlement stems from Elon's death. He was born with severe brain damage in 2011 after his mother's plea for help were ignored at Florida State Hospital, the mental hospital in Chattahoochee.

He died eight months later. Wills and Akins were the baby's caregiver.

Wills says, "Mr. Jones has never stepped forward other than to try and collect money."

Wills is concerned because Jones denied two court orders to take a DNA test.

Court documents say "on more than one occasion, Jones said he couldn't be the father and wanted nothing to do with the child or the situation."

He "offered to take a DNA test to prove he was not the father."

The court says, "Jones convinced the mother to sign over half of her claims regarding Elon, to him."

Bobbie Jean Akins, Baby Elon's grandmother, says, "I just believe that my little grandson's estate is being raided by this alleged father. It's being robbed and I believe that's a fraud."

The attorney for Wills and Akins have filed a motion to make Jones take a paternity test before receiving any money from the settlement. The judge is taking it under advisement.

The attorney for Elon's mother released the following statement on her behalf:

"My husband, Michael Jones, and I appreciate that my parents assisted us in the care of our infant child, Elon, while he was sick and receiving medical treatment. Our child’s subsequent death has been very painful for us and we have yet to receive closure because Elon’s probate estate is still being finalized. Our pain is only magnified upon public inquiries into what we consider to be a private matter. It is very important to us that we be permitted to lead our lives in the way we determine and be allowed to maintain our privacy in matters that concern us and the estate of our deceased son. We believe that the probate court, under the direction of Judge Karen Gievers, and not the media, is the appropriate place for any matters involving our son’s estate to be determined. My husband and I continue to grieve our loss and appreciate the respect that allows us to grieve in private. Thank you."

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