Skip to comments.Parents On Trial For Allegedly Starving Baby With Raw Diet
Posted on 10/17/2005 5:59:35 PM PDT by twippo
MIAMI -- Jury selection began Monday in the case of two parents accused of manslaughter and neglect in the death of their 6-month-old daughter, who prosecutors say starved after being fed only wheat grass, coconut water and milk made from almonds.
Defense lawyers for 36-year-old Joseph Andressohn and Lamoy Andressohn, 30, of Homestead contend that complications from a rare genetic disorder caused the death of their daughter Woyah in May 2003. The Andressohns maintain a strict raw food diet, which adherents believe is healthier and more natural.
"She did not die from malnutrition," said Ellis Rubin, attorney for the Andressohns.
Woyah weighed less than 7 pounds when she died, which is about average for a newborn but half that of most infants her age who are fed with breast milk or formula. The girl's body was described as "emaciated" in a medical examiner's report, with ribs clearly visible through her stretched skin.
Miami-Dade County prosecutors charged the Andressohns, who have four other children, with aggravated manslaughter and four counts of child neglect. The four other children are living with a relative under state supervision.
Under sentencing guidelines, each parent faces more than 17 years in prison if convicted on all charges at a trial expected to last about two weeks.
"The review of the evidence in this case made it clear that this was more than an accident. This was a crime," said Ed Griffith, spokesman for the Miami-Dade state attorney's office.
The Andressohns' defense will center on a little-known medical condition known as DiGeorge syndrome, a chromosomal disorder in which a person is missing the thymus gland that produces T-cells necessary for development of a healthy immune system.
The Miami-Dade County medical examiner found no thymus gland in an autopsy of Woyah, which Rubin said is evidence that DiGeorge syndrome caused the girl's death from pneumonia and esophageal reflux.
Prosecutors have countered with a report from a University of Miami pathologist concluding that there were T-cells in Woyah's system, meaning that a thymus must have existed prior to her death. They also say that malnutrition can cause a thymus gland to shrink, making it difficult to find, and that Woyah did not have the heart problems and facial characteristics of DiGeorge syndrome.
Beyond the scientific testimony, the Andressohns must overcome any bias among jurors against their alternative lifestyle and how they cared for their children. Testimony is expected to show that they forced the children to have enemas and sometimes whipped them when they violated dietary rules.
"There's a lot of prejudice against people who follow an unusual food diet. Our job is to select a jury that's going to be open-minded on this issue," Rubin said.
State Department of Children & Families investigators had looked into reports that the Andressohn children were malnourished and suffered from abuse. But a DCF report faulted them for failing to take adequate action to protect the children, even after noting that they appeared abnormally thin and one had a bloated stomach.
A DCF investigator and supervisor were fired in June 2003 after Woyah's death for not protecting the Andressohn children.
Odd. One would think that people so focused on natural health would have breastfed the baby.
If the other 4 children thrive on normal food, would that be admissable evidence in the trial for the baby's death?
No, there is prejudice against crazy libs who should not be parents because they inflict their preferences on defenseless children. Hope these idiots are never able to procreat again.
Liberalism IS a sickness.
Yes the state would like you to abort your children, and if you don't the state will nail you for anything they can, if you don't raise them as per their book.
I once worked with a guy who was an organic health food vegan. He was the most pale, anemic, sickly person I ever met. I ate steak, and I feel fine.
"...and God created animals, so that Man would not have to eat the plants of the Earth, but rather could receive delicious meat, which was sent from Heaven." -Carnivores 10:4
All of my meals are at least partially vegan. Cows eat grass, hence, vegan meal. Same with milk. Totally organic.
Exactly what I was thinking. I nursed my son for at least 8 mos straight because he didn't want anything to do with food until he could put it in his mouth himself. You just can't force a baby to take solids. What a little porker he was. He's my best eater now and fit as a fiddle.
It doesn't sound like the other children were thriving and the nutritional needs of infants are different. I've read reports of children on strict vegetarian diets and they often can have "failure to thrive" where they stop growing and gaining weight. Anyone who does a diet like that really has to know what they are doing. Probably the only reason the other kids did better was because they were able to sneak real food. If you're hungry enough, you'll do it and risk the beating, I'm sure, cause you might not get caught.
I'm not too familiar with wheat grass and coconut water; I believe almond milk is like Rice Dream or soy milk from an almond base. Has anyone tried these foods?
Not me. The most I've tried is soy milk. It's OK.
Wheat grass has all the vitamins minerals and enzymes known to man and has them in very high amounts,it has maybe 100 times the amount of iorn as spinach. About two to 4 ounces of wheat grass liquid a week and you can move mountains.
Here's a link In case everyone has not heard about wheat grass yet.
Wow! You would think the medical and nutrition establishments should be promoting wheat grass more. Does it have a grasslike consistency or it is only drunk?
How about the carbs, starches, proteins, etc. that a growing child needs? Flintstones Vitamins might have all of the vitamins and minerals that a child needs, but feeding them only those would be a clear case of child neglect. Bone and muscle mass has to be built from somewhere, and vegan and other "alternative" (read "bull***t") diets can do permanent damage to growing children. An adult might be able to get by on a vegan diet, but children cannot (especially during early years or during puberty)...
Both chlorophyll (as in organic wheatgrass juice) and haemoglobin (red blood cells) are molecularly similar. The only actual difference is that the central element in chlorophyll is magnesium and in haemoglobin it is iron, so chlorophyll has been shown to build red blood cells quickly after ingestion.
Uhhh, no. Molecular similarity is irrelevant. Graphite is molecularly identical to diamond... feel free to show me the easy way to transform one into the other. Perhaps if there was some data to support the idea that chlorophyll was not broken down in the digestive system and was simply transformed, then the website might have a point (funny how they neglect that data). But an explanation how that molecule travels fundamentaly whole to the blood production sites and then is catalyzed into haemoglobin would be far more persuasive.
Add to this the down right humorous claims about Body Cleansing, and you have the standard alternative medicine/foods hyperbole.
It's not about the presence or amounts of "nutrients," it's about the form they come in (making them easier to metabolize... instead of just passing right through the body)...