Grand Jury Indicts Two People For House Fire That Killed 2 Children

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. —  A grandy jury has indicted two people in connection with a house fire that killed 2 children in Rutherford County. Jontae Nichelle Littlejohn and John Randolph Littlejohn are facing charges of Involuntary Manslaughter and Felony Child Abuse.

The fire broke out January 13, 2023 at 185 Bostic/Sunshine Highway in Bostic, NC.

Fire Departments, and EMS were dispatched to the scene. While Firemen were fighting the fire, a subject, later identified as John Littlejohn arrived on scene and advised firemen there were children inside. Firemen immediately entered the residence to start a search. Firemen located two children in a back bedroom of the residence. The two children were transported to Cleveland Regional Hospital Emergency Traffic. Despite efforts of First Responders, and Medical Providers at Cleveland Regional, the two children were pronounced dead at Cleveland Regional. The two children were Niya Littlejohn, 3 years old, and her younger brother Nasir Littlejohn, 2 years old.

Investigators with the Rutherford County Fire Marshall’s Office, Rutherfordton Fire Marshall, Forest City Fire Marshall, NC State Bureau of Investigation, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division began an Investigations.

According to the Fire Marshall’s Office, it was found that the fire originated in the living room, in the area of the couch. At this time the cause of the fire is undetermined, but is still under investigation.

Niya and Nasir were living at the residence with their mother, Jontae Nichelle Littlejohn, and Grandfather, John Randolph Littlejohn. Investigators found that John Littlejohn would take Jontae to work at Zaxby’s in the mornings, and the children were often left at the residence, until John Littlejohn returned. This particular morning was no different.
After completion of the Investigation, Investigators consulted with the District Attorney’s Office and the decision was made to seek Indictments for Involuntary Manslaughter, and Felony Child Abuse for the deaths of Niya and Nasir Littlejohn.

Pictures included in the photo gallery are courtesy of WLOS