Murder charge for pair after daughter dies from drinking grape s - WSPA.com

Murder charge for pair after daughter dies from drinking grape soda

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Alexa Linboom Alexa Linboom

From WJHL-TV

HAWKINS COUNTY, TN -- After a two year investigation into the death of a Hawkins County 5-year-old girl, her father and his wife are charged with killing her by making her drink 2 liters of grape soda and water. 

Back on January 1, 2012 investigators say the father of 5-year-old Alexa Linboom and his wife took the unresponsive girl to a Rogersville emergency room. That same day Alexa was airlifted to Niswonger Children's Hospital in Johnson City.

Reportedly, she had severe brain damage, was blue and was not responding.  She  passed away a few days later after she was determined to be brain dead and removed from life support. 

"She was declared brain dead a couple of days later - and that's an important distinction. She had been brain dead for some time before she was actually declared brain dead," said District Attorney Berkley Bell. 

After an autopsy, Alexa's death was ruled a homicide and it was determined the cause of death was "acute fluid/water intoxication".  

An investigation revealed the girl had been forced to drink the water and soda over a one to two hours as punishment. The massive intake of fluid caused her brain to swell and herniate. 

"She was allegedly force fed so much liquid that it caused the sodium level in her body to go down and her brain to swell, which eventually led to her becoming unconscious there in the home and go into a type of seizure. Ultimately - led to her death."

The Hawkins Co. Sheriff's Office recently charged 41-year-old Randall Lee Vaughn and his wife 58-year-old Mary Lavonne Vaughn both from Surgoinsville, TN with the death of the little girl.

Both are being charged with first degree murder, two counts of aggravated child neglect, and aggravated child abuse.

"Alexa was a Tom-boy and a Girly-girl who was Top of her Class in Mrs. Hostatler's Kindergarten Class at Surgionsville Elementary School," her obituary said.

"She loved school and her classmates. Some of the things that brought enjoyment to her life was coloring, playing with her Barbie dolls, her love of animals, but her most joy came when playing with her brothers and sisters."

The Vaughn's are each being held on a $500,000 bond and will make their first court appearance Friday morning at 9 am.

Other children in the family have since been removed from the home.

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