A tragic incident has shaken the community after a 17-month-old girl died at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital on July 30, under harrowing circumstances. According to Bell County Commonwealth Attorney Lisa Fugate, the child displayed signs of physical and s*xual abuse.
The authorities promptly launched an investigation, leading to the arrest of Erica Lawson, the child’s mother, in connection to the child’s death.
Details of the Case
The 17-month-old girl was taken to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital on July 28, where medical staff attempted to save her by placing her on life support. Unfortunately, the severity of her injuries proved fatal, and she passed away on July 30.
Middlesboro Police Investigation and Arrest
While medical care was being administered, Middlesboro Police officers initiated a thorough investigation into the abuse responsible for the child’s injuries and death. The child’s mother, Erica Lawson of Middlesboro, Kentucky, was interviewed during the investigation. Subsequently, Lawson was arrested in connection to her daughter’s tragic death.
Charges and Court Proceedings
Erica Lawson has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, failure to report child neglect/abuse, first-degree criminal abuse against a child under 12, and first-degree wanton endangerment.
The tweet below verifies the news:
Ky. Mother charged with manslaughter, child abuse after child dies at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital https://t.co/BloOnhDyTz
— Eyewitness News (@WEHTWTVWlocal) July 31, 2023
She was booked into the Bell County Detention Center and has since been arraigned in Bell County District Court. Her bond has been set at $1,000,000 cash, and her next court appearance is scheduled for August 10.
Collaboration with the Department of Child Services
The Department of Child Services is working closely with the Middlesboro Police Department in the ongoing investigation. The case remains open, and authorities have hinted at the possibility of additional arrests related to this tragic incident.
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