Tenn. couple charged in child's 'grape soda' death

    12:57 PM, Feb 7, 2014   |    comments
    Randall Lee Vaughn (left), Mary Lavonne Vaughn (right). (Photo: WBIR)
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    East Tennessee (WBIR) -- A Hawkins County couple is facing murder and child abuse charges in connection to the death of a five-year-old girl.

    Randall Lee Vaughn, 41, and Mary Lavonne Vaughn, 58, are both charged with first degree murder, two counts of aggravated child neglect, and aggravated child abuse.

    Back in January 2012, Randall Vaughn and his wife brought his five-year-old daughter, Alexa Linboom, to the Hawkins County Memorial Hospital in Rogersville. She was unresponsive, according to the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office.

    Linboom was then flown to Niswonder Children's Hospital in Johnson City, where she died two days later.

    A press release stated a two-year-long investigation ruled Alexa Linboom's death a homicide. They found the child died from acute fluid/water intoxication causing hyponatremic encephopathy. Authorities said that means she drank so much water that she was poisoned from it and died.

    District Attorney General Berkley Bell told 10News that the couple forced the little girl to drink two gallons of grape soda and water as punishment.

    The husband and wife are charged for the death and each are being held on a $500,000 bond in the Hawkins County Jail.

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