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Shylea Thomas' Adoptive Mom Charged with Second Degree Murder

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By Javier Lavagnino, Esq. on April 24, 2009 12:20 PM

In an update regarding the potentially hefty charges facing the adoptive mother (and biological aunt) of quadriplegic 9-year-old Shylea Myza Thomas (read original post on story here), CNN reports that Lorrie Thomas has indeed now been charged with second degree murder and child abuse (plus tampering with evidence).

Another report from the Flint Journal indicates that even though an autopsy report actually found "no signs of physical trauma", the preliminary findings do indicate that Shylea died as a result of "chronic malnourishment and neglect", which would be bourne out by the fact that she weighed only 33 pounds at the time of her death.

Indeed, Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton called it one of "the worst cases [of malnutrition] we've ever seen" and added that the autopsy "discovered Shylae had bed sores so severe that her bone was sticking through her skin."

However, Thomas family members are laying the blame at the feet of social workers for failing to protect the girl, and perhaps some questions regarding the state's Department of Human Services actions (or inaction) in the case may be worth asking. It should be noted, however, that at this time DHS has indicated that it cannot comment on the specific case or any allegations.

But, Leyton's words likely suggest prosecutors' attention will be anywhere but on DHS:

"Clearly over a period of time, she was denied food," Leyton said. "We place that squarely on the shoulders of the defendant who was her sole caregiver."

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