Thursday, 3 March 2011

SBS: Virginia: Larisa Mone Thomas



A woman who shook an infant boy so hard that he died pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter yesterday in Spotsylvania County Circuit Court.
Larisa Mone Thomas, 29, also pleaded guilty to felony child neglect. She will be facing a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when she is sentenced May 25.
According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Kim Hackbarth, Vanessa Lynch dropped her two small sons off at Thomas' home on Windridge Drive about 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 8, 2009.
Thomas had been babysitting an older brother who was 2 at the time for about a year and Elijah, the 3-month-old infant, for a month.
About 30 minutes after Lynch left, police got a 911 call from Thomas, who said the baby was not breathing. During the call, court records state, Thomas made such statements as "I shouldn't had did this" and "Come on Elijah baby, I'm so sorry."
Elijah was pronounced dead the next day at VCU Medical Center in Richmond. He suffered bleeding in the brain and retinal hemorrhaging, and doctors ruled the death shaken baby syndrome.
Court records note that had the case gone to trial, a doctor for the defense would have contended that the death was something other than shaken baby syndrome.
Court records also show that Thomas later told Detective Twyla DeMoranville that she shook Elijah in an effort to get him to sleep. The record also contains spontaneous statements made by the older brother after the traumatic incident about the baby being bitten and hurt.
Thomas' own children were also in the house at the time, but no one else was hurt. She had been charged with second-degree murder, but the charge was reduced as part of a plea agreement.

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