By Jonathan Safran, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
In another sad example of how the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare has failed to protect the most vulnerable children of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a 29-year–old mother of five has now been charged with Child Neglect Causing Death, more than two years after she allegedly allowed her 7-month-old daughter to starve to death. Citing “issues in completing and acquiring medical examiner’s and other doctors’ reports,” the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office has charged the mother, however, the father has not been charged. According to the Milwaukee, Wisconsin criminal complaint, local police found no baby food in the house other than an empty can of infant formula, but the parents spent as much as $500 per month on gambling. The parents allegedly spent the day after the child’s death at a local casino. The mother received state assistance, food stamps and SSI benefits. Although a 9-year-old sibling was being monitored under a court order, and child welfare caseworkers and a therapist made visits to the family’s alleged “filthy, roach-infested home” to check on the older child, it does not appear as though they were aware of the issues and services which were to be provided to the younger child. The deceased child, Layunnia Lewis, was born 14 weeks premature and suffering from herpes, weighing 4 3/4 pounds, and weighed only 5 1/2 pounds when she died at 7 months of age. An independent review panel report noted that “for some portion of time that the safety services case was open [for the younger child], neither the ongoing worker [for the older child] nor the safety service worker knew of their co-worker’s involvement with the family.”
To see the full text of the article, go to the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Journal Sentinel article at Mother Charges in Starvation Death of 7 Month Old.