Dallas mother accused of neglect in death
DALLAS – The mother of a 9-year-old diabetic who died as she lay beside a bag of candy and other sweets has been accused of helping cause her death by failing to help the girl manage the disease and giving her high-glucose foods.
Georgia Lee Jones, 27, was arrested Monday after a long investigation, The Dallas Morning News reported in its Wednesday editions. The mother of five faces a felony charge of injury to a child and faces up to life in prison if convicted in the May 2 death of Chasity Butler.
“Chasity’s diabetes was not monitored properly causing her to be constantly sick and in bed rather than leading a normal life like other children her age,” police documents say.
Jones was released from Dallas County Jail late Tuesday on bond. A home phone number for Jones could not be found Wednesday, but her husband defended her in an interview with the Morning News.
“All in all, I believe my wife is a good mother,” 30-year-old Marqus Butler said. “And she’s a good woman, also.”
The death was ruled natural due to diabetic complications by the Dallas County medical examiner, but according to police and state Child Protective Services reports, Jones had failed to properly treat or monitor the disease.
Police said CPS investigations showed Chasity often had to take readings of her blood glucose levels herself and give herself insulin injections or get help from a younger sister. The investigators said Jones did not adhere to diet rules, often feeding Chasity foods high in glucose like noodles and sweets.
Police say that the day before the girl died, she had stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting. Then she did not eat that night or the next morning. Authorities say her mother checked her glucose level and found it dangerously high, but still fed her noodles and let her eat cupcakes and candy.
Days before Chasity’s death, CPS inspected the home because of concerns about whether Jones was sufficiently managing Chasity’s diabetes and providing enough food to the children. CPS said the sisters appeared to be in good condition and described Chasity as “upbeat” during the interview.
Butler said his daughter’s July 2005 diagnosis of the Type I form of the disease came after she suffered a diabetic coma.
Police say that a week after the diagnosis, Jones was scheduled for a Diabetes 101 class, but didn’t show up.
In the years following Chasity’s diagnosis, CPS got reports that Jones wasn’t adequately managing her daughter’s disease but didn’t find evidence of neglect. But police documents say that a clinic told CPS that Jones was lax about sending in blood glucose level readings that are to be taken several times a day with a device at home — and often went two to three months without sending in any readings.
Police said that when the readings were sent in, Chasity’s glucose levels were dangerously high. The girl had to be hospitalized at least five times during 2006 and 2007.
CPS placed Chasity’s four younger sisters, ages 2 to 8, with Butler’s mother, who with her husband was given permanent custody in December.