Broward County

Mother’s boyfriend charged with manslaughter after her two boys drowned in pool, cops say

John Lynn Jr. didn’t provide the “care, supervision and services necessary,” when two young brothers drowned in a North Lauderdale pool in May, a detective wrote an arrest warrant.

Lynn, 24, who according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office is the boyfriend of the boys’ mother, was arrested Tuesday on two counts of aggravated manslaughter of a child. He was being held Thursday with no bond because of an unrelated case, jail records show.

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John Lynn Jr. Broward Sheriff's Office

Ja’kye Joseph, 6, and his brother, Branario Minto, 5, drowned May 22 in the community pool near their home. The Department of Children and Families released a heavily redacted incident report in June that said the boys likely climbed a fence to the pool while their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother remained inside their home.

The report did not mention Lynn. DCF at the time said it was trying to determine whether the drownings were an accident or the result of neglect.

Investigators fielded six reports that the boys had been abused or neglected between 2015 and 2018, records show. There was a seventh report two days before the boys died.

The boys’ mom, Wildine Joseph, told reporters at the time she was asleep when the boys walked out. She tearfully said, “I lost my babies too early.”

After the boys died, DCF representatives told Broward Circuit Judge Kenneth Gillespie that the agency was considering terminating Joseph’s rights to raise two surviving children.

It was not clear Thursday whether that had been done.

The warrant doesn’t explicitly say that Lynn, who is not the boys’ biological father, was supposed to be watching them. The warrant also doesn’t go into detail why investigators charged him with manslaughter. All it says is that Lynn “unlawfully and by “culpable negligence” caused the death of the boys.

Lynn was being held on a probation violation from 2015 charges including carrying a concealed firearm and marijuana possession.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office did not say whether any other charges were pending.

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.