Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Custodial dad, step get 35 years in prison for death of 5-year-old daughter (Surgoinsville, Tennessee)

Dad is identified as RANDALL LEE VAUGHN.

Earlier posts have reported that the girl's mother lived out of state, but I have seen no details on how or why she lost custody and who was responsible.

East Tennessee couple gets 35 years in prison after pleading guilty in death of girl, 5, forced to drink grape soda until her brain herniated
•Randall Lee Vaughn, 41, and Mary Lavonne Vaughn, 58, of Surgoinsville were sentenced Monday in Hawkins County Criminal Court
•Randall is the biological father of Alexa Linboom, who died in January 2012
•The couple forced Alexa to drink soda and water for hours as a punishment for taking one of her stepmother's drinks

By Mail Online Reporter Published: 15:06 EST, 9 December 2014 | Updated: 15:06 EST, 9 December 2014

An East Tennessee couple has been sentenced to 35 years in prison each for their role in the death of a 5-year-old girl forced to drink so much grape soda it caused her brain to swell.

Randall Lee Vaughn, 41, and Mary Lavonne Vaughn, 58, of Surgoinsville were sentenced Monday in Hawkins County Criminal Court. #Randall is the girl's biological father.

The Tennessean reports that the couple entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder and aggravated child neglect.

Alexa Linboom was suffering from extreme brain damage when she was brought to an emergency room on January 1, 2012, by her father, Randall Vaughn and her stepmother, Mary.

An investigation found the young girl had been forced to drink the water and soda in one to two hours as punishment after taking one of her stepmother's drinks.

The huge intake of fluid caused her brain to swell and herniate, which led to her death on January 3, 2012.

Attorney-general Berkeley Bell told the Times News that after allegedly forcing their child to drink an excessive amount of fluid, they failed to seek immediate medical help.

'Our position is it was a matter of several hours after the child started exhibiting serious symptoms, after the child was screaming out in pain, went into a paralyzed state, and became unconscious [that they sought help,' Bell said.

After a two-year investiagtion it was found that Alexa was killed by acute fluid intoxication , which caused hyponatremic encephalopathy.

Bell said there was no history of abuse on record at the Vaughan family home, but added: 'They did employ some alternative forms of punishment.'

'Allegedly the child, as a form of punishment, was forced to drink grape drinks, as well as a great deal of water, to the point that her body became water intoxicated,' Bell said. 'That led to her brain swelling and all of her systems shutting down, and to her eventual brain death.' .