Tennessee couple arraigned for killing
girl with lethal soda dose
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[February 08, 2014]
By Tim Ghianni
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) — A couple
charged with murder by forcing their 5-year-old girl to chug as a
punishment what turned out to be a lethal amount of grape soda and
water, was arraigned in an east Tennessee court on Friday and did not
The girl's father, Randall Vaughn, and his wife, Mary — the
child's stepmother — have been charged with her murder through a
massive fluid intake that caused her brain to swell and rupture.
They are also facing charges of aggravated child abuse and
aggravated child neglect. They were jailed on bonds of $500,000
each, according to Assistant District Attorney General Alex Pearson.
"She was allegedly force-fed so much liquid that it caused the
sodium level in her body to go down, (and) caused her brain to
swell," District Attorney General Berkeley Bell told Knoxville's
WATE television earlier this week.
Bell said the 5-year-old was being punished for sneaking off with
grape drinks. Authorities said she was forced to drink more than 2
liters of grape soda and water in less than two hours.
The girl Alexa Linboon died in January 2012, two days after being
airlifted to a hospital for treatment.
The trial date was set for October 20, according to the circuit
court clerk's office. The arraignment was held in Rogersville, about
250 miles east of Nashville.
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The Vaughns were arrested on Wednesday, two days after a grand jury
handed down the sealed indictments at the conclusion of a two-year
Five other children in their home reportedly have
been placed in foster care.
(Reporting by Tim Ghianni; writing by Jon Herskovitz.
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