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Hawkins County couple charged with killing girl by making her drink 2 liters of soda & water to appear in court this morning

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41-year-old Randall Lee Vaughn (Source: Hawkins County Sheriff's Office) 41-year-old Randall Lee Vaughn (Source: Hawkins County Sheriff's Office)
58-year-old Mary Lavonne Vaughn  (Source: Hawkins County Sheriff's Department) 58-year-old Mary Lavonne Vaughn (Source: Hawkins County Sheriff's Department)
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HAWKINS COUNTY, TN (WJHL) - A  man and woman accused of the murder of a 5 year old girl who died after drinking more than 2 liters of grape soda and water will make their first appearance in court this morning.  


Back on January 1, 2012 investigators say the father of 5-year-old Alexa Linboom and his wife took the unresponsive girl to a Rogersville emergency room. That same day Alexa was airlifted to Niswonger Children's Hospital in Johnson City.

Reportedly, she had severe brain damage, was blue and was not responding.  She  passed away a few days later after she was determined to be brain dead and removed from life support. 

"She was declared brain dead a couple of days later - and that's an important distinction. She had been brain dead for some time before she was actually declared brain dead," said District Attorney Berkley Bell. 

After an autopsy, Alexa's death was ruled a homicide and it was determined the cause of death was "acute fluid/water intoxication".  

An investigation revealed the girl had been forced to drink the water and soda over a one to two hours as punishment. The massive intake of fluid caused her brain to swell and herniate. 

"She was allegedly force fed so much liquid that it caused the sodium level in her body to go down and her brain to swell, which eventually led to her becoming unconscious there in the home and go into a type of seizure. Ultimately - led to her death."

The Hawkins Co. Sheriff's Office recently charged 41-year-old Randall Lee Vaughn and his wife 58-year-old Mary Lavonne Vaughn both from Surgoinsville, TN with the death of the little girl.

Both are being charged with first degree murder, two counts of aggravated child neglect, and aggravated child abuse.
 
The Vaughn's are each being held on a $500,000 bond and will make their first court appearance Friday morning at 9:00am.

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