Plea Struck In Baby's Death
Updated: Tuesday, February 19 2013, 04:20 PM EST
There is a guilty plea from the woman in charge of taking caring of little Aubrey Littlejohn.
The 15 month old Cherokee girl died two years ago, and Monday Lady Bird Powell, her great aunt, pleaded guilty in Swain County Court to involuntary manslaughter, child abuse, and drug charges.
An investigation found Aubrey had been kept in dirty diapers, had an untreated broken arm, and died with a body temperature of 84 degrees.
Powell will spend at least nine years in prison. Aubrey’s mother was in the courtroom to hear the sentence and said, “I feel like she should have gotten more, but I’m glad that she did get some time. Now my daughter, she can rest in peace.”
The Littlejohn family says the Swain County Department of Social Services shares some of the blame for Aubrey’s death. They and their attorney claim social workers falsified records and obstructed justice in her case, and they’re pursuing legal action. That case is scheduled for court in April.
By Rex Hodge