Janessa Shannon was murdered after suffering blunt trauma to her face and possibly being strangled by her father, a Hillsborough prosecutor argued in court Friday morning.
On Thursday, Janessa’s father, Nahshon Mantrell Shannon, 29, was arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse. For Shannon to be formally charged with first-degree murder, the state will have to convene a grand jury.
Shannon appeared before a judge on Friday and was ordered held without bond at the Hillsborough County jail.
But Assistant State Attorney Andrew H. Warren filed a motion on Friday asking that Shannon be ordered held in pretrial detention. The motion alleges that he poses a threat to the community because of the dangerous crime he is charged with, that there is substantial probability of his guilt, the nature of the crime shows a disregard for the safety of the community and there are no conditions of release that would be sufficient to protect the community.
The manner of death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner’s office as a result of blunt trauma and possible strangulation, according to court documents. Toxicology reports by the medical examiner also confirmed that the 13-year-old had alcohol and cocaine in her system consumed within six hours of her murder.
Janessa suffered fractures above her left and right incisors, a fractured nose and had bruises around the area of her mouth, nose and face — all which occurred at or near the time of her death.
Detectives said they found a shovel during the search of Shannon’s home that was missing screws later determined to be identical to screws found near his daughter’s grave. Soil found inside a plastic bag during a search of Shannon’s 2008 Jeep Cherokee were later determined to be consistent with the soil from the gravesite. Soil found on the shovel was found to be a combination of soil from his home and the gravesite.
His DNA was also found on the shovel handle, according to court documents.
Shannon will appear in court at 10 a.m. Wednesday as the state argues for his pretrial detention.
Janessa was first reported missing July 2 about 39 hours after she had last been seen. Ten days later, her badly decomposed body was found by a hiker in a heavily wooded area of the Triple Creek Nature Preserve.