Couple sentenced to 35 years in 5-year-old girl’s grape soda death

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ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. — A judge sentenced a couple to prison after a 5-year-old they cared for died when she was forced to drink massive amounts of grape soda.

Randall Lee Vaughn, 41, and Mary Lavonne Vaughn, 58, were sentenced to 35 years in prison each Tuesday in the death of Alexa Linboom, the Tennessean reports.

They pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and aggravated child neglect in Hawkins County Criminal Court.

According to the Tennessean, on Jan. 1, 2012, the girl was caught taking some grape drinks without permission.

As punishment, the Vaughns forced the girl to drink about 2.5 liters of grape soda over a 1-2 hour period.

The massive amounts of liquid caused the girl’s brain to swell and she became unresponsive and was taken to a hospital. She died two days later.

Her death was ruled a homicide as a result of acute fluid and water intoxication.


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