Laquisha Chanel Thomas, 24, had given birth to her fourth child only days before she was charged with causing serious bodily injury to her older child nearly a year ago, her attorney, Kenneth Cutrer said. At the time of the incident, Thomas’s children were 8-days-, 4-years-, 2-years- and 1-year-old, Cutrer said.
“She was tending to a newborn and not able to supervise all these kids effectively,” he said.
All four of Thomas’s children are in foster care, Cutrer said. A medical professional became the caretaker of the child who was burned and took in her three siblings, Cutrer said. The burned infant still requires medical attention, Cutrer said.
According to Cutrer, the state tried to prove that Thomas was the one who put her child in scalding water and the evidence did not support that. Thomas said from the beginning that her 4-year-old was trying to be helpful and bathe the child, Cutrer said.
When the infant screamed Thomas removed her from the water and called emergency medical help, Cutrer said. When the incident occurred in May officials with Child Protective Services investigated and concluded that neglectful supervision and physical abuse did occur, Marissa Gonzales, a CPS spokeswoman said. All Thomas’ children were removed from her care, Gonzales said.
Prosecutor Melinda Westmoreland said she does not agree that Thomas’ 4-year-old was responsible for scalding the baby. If she did agree that the child was responsible she would not have prosecuted the case against Thomas charging her with causing serious bodily injury to a child, Westmoreland said.
A decision on re-trying the case against Thomas has not been reached, Westmoreland said.
“We’ll try to work out an agreement that both sides can live with at this point,” Cutrer said.