Man, woman sentenced for killing 5-year-old with grape soda

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TENNESSEE — A man and woman have both been sentenced to 35 years in prison after the death of a 5-year-old girl forced to drink large amounts of grape soda.

According to The Tennessean, Randall Lee Vaughn, 41, and Mary Lavonne Vaughn, 58, were both sentenced Monday. Randall was the father of the little girl, Alexa Linboom, and Mary was her step-mother.

Alexa was forced to guzzle 2.5 liters of soda and water over a one to two-hour period after she took “one or two grape drinks” that belonged to her stepmother, District Attorney Berkley Bell previously told CNN affiliate WJHL.

The child became unresponsive, and the pair drove her to the hospital on New Year’s Day in 2012. Two days later, she was declared brain-dead and removed from life support. A two-year investigation determined her death was a homicide as a result of acute fluid/water intoxication.

Read more here.


  • OneMan'sOpinion

    Unusual that the child has a different last name than her father.
    While the title of this article refers to sentencing, I do not read anything about the sentence.

    • OneMan'sOpinion

      Well, I feel stupid. It’s the first sentence in the article. 35 years. Where are those who will say that the grief of bad disciplining of the child resulting in death is more than enough of a sentence?

      • Beth Zeller

        no excuse for what those “parents” did. anyone can down to death from drinking in excess, its pretty commonly known. Those parents sure are dense. that is a very bizzare and cruel punishment they were doing to a FIVE YEAR OLD also.

        • Kerri

          Actually I did not know that a person could drink their self to death…especially 2.5 liters but don’t get me wrong, I do totally believe they knew they were abusing her in someway – and if you ask me, the sentence is never enough for the life of a child – they have basically stripped that child of their entire life so why not life???


    It’s unbelievable how Damn stupid people are as anyone should know if you drink way too much fluid of any kind it causes the brain to swell to the point the skull puts pressure on the brain to the point it will kill you !
    I guess no one remembers the woman that drank water to win a radio contest a few years ago? She won but she didn’t live to collect the prize as it was the same deal her brain swelled from all the water she drank and it killed her !
    They should be made to drink enough grape soda and water till they die

    • OneMan'sOpinion

      I see so many alcoholics drink pitcher after pitcher of beer in a couple of hours time. I’m sure their brain swells but how come they don’t die?

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