Mother Sentenced to 16 Years for Death of her T1 Daughter; Neglect……What Are Your Thoughts?

Jail

She was nine years old when she died.  Did we, perhaps, light blue candles back when we heard?  As months and years went on, the story unraveled.  The incredible horror of life was told, and the results were as baffling as they were horrendous.  How?  Why? 

Who stood by and only watched.  In this day; in this age?  How so sad.

I would be very interested what you think after you read this story.  Kindly hit reply and feel free to comment and give your input to this horrendous story.

Reported by the New York Daily News via Dallas Morning News :
A Texas mom was jailed for the death of her diabetic daughter after failing to control her condition by letting her eat sugar-filled sweet treats.

Georgia Jones, 31, will spend the next 16 years locked up after confessing to feeding Chasity Butler, who was just nine, foods that were high in glucose.  (Diabetes Dad NOTE: Other stories on this news showed that there was ‘other neglect’ over the years and this reads a bit differently than some of the other stories I found.  That neglect was stated in other stories beginning before her daughter’s diagnosis of T1—FYI)

She also left Chasity — who died on her mom’s bed in May 2008 next to a bag of candy and a half-eaten cupcake — to take her own blood-glucose-level readings and insulin injections. (DD Note: remember she was 9 at the time of her death)

Jones, from Dallas, was arrested a year after her daughter’s death — which a coroner ruled was natural from complications of her Type I diabetes.

But Jones was, according to cops and state Child Protective Services, responsible for not preventing the death as she did not monitor or treat the condition. (DD NOTE: Other reports I found were that Ms. Jones was responsible to send her daughter’s glucose numbers to CPS much more frequently than she did.)

Investigators in the case revealed Jones did not turn up to a Diabetes 101 class a week after her daughter fell into a coma and was diagnosed with the disease in 2005.

The night of her death, they also found that Chasity — who had dangerously high glucose levels, stomach pains and diarrhea — was fed candy and noodles to celebrate her sister’s birthday.

Jones’ husband Marqus Butler, whose mother now has custody of Chasity’s four sisters, previously said his wife let their daughter take a nap.

When they went to check on her, he added, they found she had died.

“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,” Dallas police documents said.

Jones pleaded guilty and was sentenced by Judge Gary Stephens on Monday, the Dallas Morning News reports.

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0 thoughts on “Mother Sentenced to 16 Years for Death of her T1 Daughter; Neglect……What Are Your Thoughts?

  • I saw this yesterday and my thoughts and emotions ran on so many different levels and planes. I felt bad the mother felt she had nowhere to turn. Then I read more and was angry with her for not reaching for help. I’m angry CPS didn’t follow up on missed appointments, on lack of receiving bg readings, on the history of other “calls” made previous to diagnosis. None of us are ready to become a caregiver to a relative with diabetes, let alone our own child, but to keep our child safe, we learn about the disease, it’s signs, symptoms, treatment, and just daily living. This mother didn’t get it. That alone isn’t a crime, but other actions compounded into her child’s death. When will the public realize this daughter was just sent back to her home after diagnosis, after the coma, after other calls, because nobody realized the severity of the diagnosis and home situation. I hope this gets out in the public and educates people.

  • Sad and meaningless ending to this little angels life. No way her parents or family could have not known about the little girls condition. My daughter is eight and has T1, the symptoms are crazy obvious that come result from high or low blood sugar. The more you eat the hungrier you get without insulin. This parent that had diabetes did or should have known what was going on. I doubt that the little girls family didn’t recognize the symptoms before this which kills me to know people can be that cruel. Somebody knew! God please help us find a cure for Type 1 diabetes.

  • Very painful story. I am saddened to hear this happens. Was it neglect, or was it not being informed about the dangers of T1 diabetes? As a mother of a T1 diabetic i believe that it is up to you to be as informed as possible when caring for a child with diabetes. You need to know the symptoms of highs and lows and treat them accordingly. I am not going to pass judgement but at the end of the day…. a little girl died senselessly. I pray for the mom and the entire family <3 RIP Chasity <3

  • I have to say that this whole article makes me sick. First the way it is written, it sounds like any parent that gives there t1d child candy is committing a crime and that they should not be given ANY sugar. That is ridiculous. Secondly, when I started reading, I assumed this was going to be another article about a mother not treating her child because of religious reasons or trying to cure her. I was surprised and just as appalled. The mom should have never been given custody until she took the class! On a side note, when we went to our diabetes class, we had CPS in the class and the mom she was there for, did not show up UNTIL CPS called her. She finally arrived about halfway through class and did not take one single note. I was sickened. I imagine this is the way the mom in the article was. It takes a special kind of parent to be a D parent!

  • Not that I can judge another but in this case I don’t believe there is even a info to give my opinion. Did she not bring her to the endo regularly? Was there a behavior issue mom didn’t know how to deal with? What where here a1c ‘s ? Did anyone else try to step in along the way? To ?’s not enough info for me.

  • Mary Lou Miller says:

    This is so sad. As noted above, we don’t have all the facts but one thing I know for sure…..there is no way a 9 year old should be responsible for insulin dosing and injection. The article also further degrades the understanding of Type 1 diabetes – “failing to control her condition by letting her eat sugar-filled sweet treats.” That implies that T1 diabetics can never eat sweets. She plead guilty. I cannot imagine the despair. My heart goes out to all…..

  • From the Dallas Morning News article which, according to the website, was originally published Feb 4, 2009:

    “During the years after Chasity’s diagnosis, CPS received reports that Jones wasn’t adequately managing her daughter’s disease. Each time, CPS investigators talked with doctors and others and did not find evidence of neglect.

    But an endocrinologist at Children’s Medical Center Dallas told police that families are required to fax the hospital weekly logs of blood glucose levels. The readings are taken several times a day with a device that families take home with them.

    “According to the clinic,” police documents say, “Georgia Jones was lax about sending in the BG readings and often went 2 and three months without sending any readings at all.”

    First, I find it interesting that CPS was told by the doctors there was no evidence of neglect or abuse. Whatever else was going on, the staff at the clinic shoulders part of the blame. Why didn’t they intervene? What were the parents told at diagnosis about how the child should eat? Were they given the standard “she can eat anything any other child can?”

    Second, though it isn’t clear if this was a special case or the way all patients are handled, I cannot imagine having to send in logs to the endo on a weekly basis….at least not after the first few weeks/months. And again, if that was the requirement (for whatever reason) why was nothing done?

    Children….yours, mine or those of someone we don’t even know…are the responsibility of ALL of us. After reading through several versions of the story, I’m certainly not ready to pass judgement on the mom. It’s a sad situation that shouldn’t have happened…but it did. And it seems everyone around this child failed to prevent it. My heart breaks for all involved, including the mom…& especially the child.

    • Thank you for adding this aditional article that appeared a few years ago—-the whole story is, as stated, much more multi-sided than we are given and the whole story is just so sad.

      We should all be reminded that this is a ‘reported story’ and just because it is in the media does not mean the facts are correct either—-important to remember this as well.

      Thanks again for adding commentary and including other news items.

  • WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! I adopted my CWD son through foster care & was watched under a microscope in his care. I was accused of some crazy stuff because the SW didn’t understand T1D so a county health nurse was assigned to follow up…..and they did. Ultimately I proved to be very competent in his care but I had hoops to jump through. The little girl in this story clearly was not cared for by the parents, such a shame CPS let her down too.

  • Children’s Dallas is the hospital my son was in at dx, and he continues to see an endo there. When he was discharged, his nurse commented that she was glad to see him go home and she felt confident he would have the care and family support he needed. Many of the patients she saw did not have that…parents that refused to take the illness seriously, etc. It made me so sad for those other children, but happy for my son. It gave us a great boost at the beginning of our journey.

  • My friend Richard Ginsburg just asked a great question on one of the FB posts, he writes: Why isn’t the father in jail too.

    I thought it worthy to post here also. Thanks Richard

  • A tragic avoidable death. Chastity was the victim of a chain of failure. Her parents were separated when she died. Maybe the father hadn’t seen her for a while. Plenty of absent parents go weeks between contact.

  • That’s a light sentence as far as I’m concerned. It’s the same as physical abuse just in a different form. Everyone parents differently but this is unacceptable on all levels. She’s obviously critically mentally ill and shouldn’t be in society if she’s clearly lacking basic right & wrong

  • Ultimately, the blame must lie with the adults in that household whose job it was to care for this little girl. Obviously, it wasn’t being done properly. Then the next level of intervention should have happened, and it didn’t. That being either CPS or the medical team stepping in on behalf of this child. That would’ve required them working in unison, which in reality probably just doesn’t happen. Everyone works within their little boxes and the bigger picture isn’t seen to keep innocent children from falling into the cracks. People (and our society for that matter) need to wake up to diabetes and realize what they are dealing with, and if they are incapable of following the medical prodicol necessary to provide a healthy life for their child, then other measures should be in place to respond appropriately to prevent a senseless death. Clearly, this isn’t just about diabetes. I have a now former friend whose child was diagnosed with t1 about a year after my child, and I tried countless times to get the parents to see the disease seriously and to get the best care available to them and their daughter, and to no avail. They were comfortable using old treatment methods from an unqualified doctor in their small town, when they were near a large city with a cutting edge children’s hospital within an hour’s drive, and a community of t1 families who would’ve welcomed them and supported them, but they refused. I no longer have any patience with parents who stay in denial about their t1 child. Whatever burdens we must carry, they are nothing compared to t1s’ lifelong daily responsibilities and tasks to keep on track with this illness until the day a cure is found. Sorry about the rant!

  • Sounds like another failure of the system designed to protect children. In this case, it was a Type 1 diabetes related death, but children all across this country fall between the cracks because someone somewhere along the line didn’t follow up or accurately report what was happening to the child. Maybe when CPS called, the mom had just sent in the logs (she may have know when CPS would be calling), so the person responding was honestly reporting that the logs were there and numbers were fine. Sadly. we may never know where the breakdown really occurred, but there is more than enough blame to spread around.

    • No, we may never know, you are correct. As I read many of the responses, the heartbreak is the only thing that surpasses the fact that many feel we may never know all of the facts and there truly is a break-down in so many apsects of this horrendous story.
      To me—it could be the definition in the dictionary of ‘Sad’.

  • I actually just posted this story at Diabetes1.org – with some of the older links in it. I was shocked like many of you – and the reaction I’ve been receiving from other T3’s abit harsh at times. There are many things that we may never really know of what happened here – media can often not report the truth. I’ve not had time to go over everyone’s replies here – but as a T1D diagnosed at 6 – I was pretty well left on my own at age of 7 – to take care of myself – along with appointments – I did NOT find this strange – I just knew I took care of my diabetes – my Mum (and let’s face it – where’s the Dad in all of this?) took the brunt of being accused of being a bad T3 when I went into DKA when I was 12 (3 days out in a coma – my fault COMPLETELY). The situation with Gloria – the Mum of Chastity – since she lived in the USA (or it could have easily happened here in Canada – so don’t get your feathers in a ruffle) – money / work / time – 4 other children to take care of – where was the Dad – why all the blame to Gloria??? I think many are at fault here – and to place a Mum into prison for this – I do not think it’s right.
    Are all T3’s now going to wonder if they’ll go to prison just because they don’t scrutinise everything their T1D child does? I know when I spoke with my Mum this morning – she said she probably should be in jail then – she didn’t cause my death – but she did the best she could.

    I was lucky – I was raised in a middle class family as well – as one reader had pointed out to me – that “did I eat crap?”. Well, IMHO I did from time to time (my Mum wasn’t a fancy cook like I am … but she did her best). We could afford some of the things that our health care system didn’t cover. We were lucky. In Gloria’s case – perhaps she didn’t have insurance? Maybe she was too proud to ask for help (I know I would be).

    Just too many ifs/ands/or buts for my personal liking of what she has occurred here.

  • I actually just posted this story at Diabetes1.org – with some of the older links in it. I was shocked like many of you – and the reaction I’ve been receiving from other T3’s abit harsh at times. There are many things that we may never really know of what happened here – media can often not report the truth. I’ve not had time to go over everyone’s replies here – but as a T1D diagnosed at 6 – I was pretty well left on my own at age of 7 – to take care of myself – along with appointments – I did NOT find this strange – I just knew I took care of my diabetes – my Mum (and let’s face it – where’s the Dad in all of this?) took the brunt of being accused of being a bad T3 when I went into DKA when I was 12 (3 days out in a coma – my fault COMPLETELY). The situation with Gloria – the Mum of Chastity – since she lived in the USA (or it could have easily happened here in Canada – so don’t get your feathers in a ruffle) – money / work / time – 4 other children to take care of – where was the Dad – why all the blame to Gloria??? I think many are at fault here – and to place a Mum into prison for this – I do not think it’s right.
    Are all T3’s now going to wonder if they’ll go to prison just because they don’t scrutinise everything their T1D child does? I know when I spoke with my Mum this morning – she said she probably should be in jail then – she didn’t cause my death – but she did the best she could.

    I was lucky – I was raised in a middle class family as well – as one reader had pointed out to me – that “did I eat crap?”. Well, IMHO I did from time to time (my Mum wasn’t a fancy cook like I am … but she did her best). We could afford some of the things that our health care system didn’t cover. We were lucky. In Gloria’s case – perhaps she didn’t have insurance? Maybe she was too proud to ask for help (I know I would be).

    Just too many ifs/ands/or buts for my personal liking of what she has occurred here.

  • I’m not condoning the mom’s actions here. Clearly, what happened should not have happened. But I’m just playing devil’s advocate here. Keep that in mind as you read this:

    There are plenty of people with diabetes – even adults – who are in denial about their diabetes. They pretend it’s not there because they just want to live a normal life. Maybe they don’t know the consequences, maybe the desire to be “normal” outranks the will to take care for themselves. Sometimes these people need mental-health counseling to learn to accept the diagnosis. Other people don’t get counseling, get sick from lack of diabetes-management, and even die. When this happens, we don’t fault the person, we fault the emotional burden and lack of support they’ve been offered. (If I were required to fax my records to my doctor every week, I would get a bit disturbed and possibly rebellious, too!)

    It’s possible that the mom was going through the same thing. I’m not saying it’s a foregone conclusion — but it’s possible. Depression manifests itself differently in different people, and when the person with depression is not the one with diabetes, getting help (and financial help for the help) for it is that much harder to justify.

    The last sentence says she pleaded guilty. She knew that she had done wrong, legally speaking. Perhaps she didn’t want to be seen doing wrong (through deprivation of “good things”) through her child’s eyes.

    Just a thought.

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