The final verdict has been announced for a Tennessee couple being held responsible for the death of their 5-year old, Alexa Linboom. The parents, Randall-Lee Vaught, 41, and Mary-Lee Vaughn, 58, have been charged with first degree murder, two counts of aggravated child neglect and aggravated child abuse.
On Jan. 1, 2012, the child was taken to Hawkins County Memorial Hospital when she became unresponsive at home. Doctors discovered that the child had experienced severe brain damage.
Pronounced dead two days later, autopsy report determined that the cause of death was due to severe brain damage as a result of massive intake of fluid, which caused Alexa’s sodium level to drop excessively.
Later known facts, the child was forced to consume such excessive fluids as a punishment by both father and stepmother. As punishment for taking her stepmothers grape soda without permission, Alexa was forced to drink two liters of grape soda and water.
According to District Attorney Berkley Bell, “after several hours the child started exhibiting serious symptoms, after the child was screaming out in pain, she went into a paralyzed state and became unconscious.”
“That led to her brain swelling and all of her systems shutting down, and to her eventual brain death.”
Currently, the couple sits waiting for a jury to reach a final verdict of either the death penalty or up to 60 years in prison, with an additional 20 years for child neglect and abuse.
The five remaining children of the Vaughn’s household have since been removed and placed in foster care.