Detroit Mother Jailed for Protecting Daughter During Vicious Fight

57-year-old Octavia Dickens began serving four months in jail today for stabbing a 19-year-old woma...


57-year-old Octavia Dickens began serving four months in jail today for stabbing a 19-year-old woman who was attacking her daughter.


Dickens' daughters and the 19-year-old had been involved in an altercation earlier in the day and the teen said she went to Dickens' home about 3 hours later, with others, to fight.

The incident was captured on video, but that footage was never shown in court.

Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, told the Detroit Free Press they've never had video in the case.

"Police and prosecutors were told it was erased," she said in an email Monday.

Dickens, her two daughters, and a group of others appear in the video taken on a cameraphone. Two people fought one of Dickens' daughters as others watched and a car alarm went off in the parking lot.

Dicken's attorney's negotiated the plea.


"I had to go out there and get them off my kids," Dickens told the Free Press.

She said she was defending them, saw blood coming from one of her daughters and was worried about what would happen if she didn't act.

Dickens wiped tears from her eyes as she stood before Wayne County Circuit Judge Shannon Walker and accepted a plea deal Monday.

She pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of aggravated assault, a misdemeanor. A felony count of assault with a dangerous weapon and a felony count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder were dismissed as part of the plea.

During a hearing in November, Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Elizabeth Van Marcke said Dickens' actions "far, far exceed what might, may have been necessary."

Dickens told the Free Press she was afraid that if she didn't take the plea, she would end up spending more time behind bars.

She said a group of people came to her home off Nevada Avenue on the city's east side, knocked on the front door and her daughters, ages 20 and 33, went to the door.

Dickens said she then went upstairs to watch a movie, looked out window when she heard commotion and saw her daughters on the ground.

According to officials, nobody else was charged. Read more of Dickens' story here.




Photo: Photo: Elisha Anderson/Detroit Free Press

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