Cops: Girl, 5, Forced to Drink So Much Soda She Died
Parents are charged with first-degree murder over their punishment
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2014 4:25 PM CST
Updated Feb 9, 2014 7:01 PM CST
Randall and Mary Vaughn..   (Hawkins County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – A husband and wife in Tennessee are accused of making their 5-year-old daughter drink excessive amounts of grape soda and water as punishment—so much so that the girl died as a result, reports the Times-News of Kingsport. Randall Vaughn, 41, and Mary Vaughn, 58, are charged with first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated child neglect, and aggravated child abuse. They could face the death penalty in the death of Alexa Linboom, who is Randall Vaughn's biological daughter, reports WBIR.

Police say the couple decided to punish the girl after she drank one of her step-mother's grape sodas. They allegedly made her drink more than two liters of soda and water in an hour or two, reports the AP. The couple brought the girl to the hospital after she showed signs of distress, but she died two days later. The volume of liquid had overwhelmed her system and caused serious brain damage, says her autopsy. Alexa had moved to Tennessee to live with her father about three months ago, reportedly because of neglect at her previous home.

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Showing 3 of 169 comments
Jul 28, 2014 4:44 PM CDT
I am a firm believer that the way you take someones life is the way you should die as well, doesn't matter how......butt if they don't get the death penalty, they will have to face the "prison justice". Prisoners LOVE child molesters and abusers
Jul 24, 2014 2:26 PM CDT
My rule is if it's in the kitchen to be eaten, eat it! Just don't waste it. Punishment for eating food or drinking is just absurd! Poor baby. With the vermin she was living with, and her bio mom, God took what goodness they will ever have. May the saint rest in peace and the angels treat her special.
Lloyd Marcom
Jul 24, 2014 12:54 PM CDT
Over a grape soda....