Mother on trial for death of her 4-year-old daughter

June 29, 2010 2:13:20 PM PDT
At the trial Tuesday of a mother charged in the death of her 4-year-old daughter, prosecutors say the woman did nothing to prevent the abuse that led to the child's death. Prosecutors say Abigail Young, 34, is a registered nurse and that's partly why they say she knew her child was being abused and did nothing to stop it.

Young failed to protect her daughter, Emma Thompson, 4, from repeated sexual and physical abuse by Young's boyfriend, Lucas Coe, prosecutors say. They allege Young lied to doctors and Child Protective Services investigators about Coe's access to the little girl and ignored warning signs the child was being abused.

The day of her death, prosecutors say little Emma was battered and unresponsive. While good Samaritans and paramedics tried to save the child's life, they say Young did nothing.

However, Young's lawyers say she took her child to doctors and to the hospital and never lied or tried to hide signs of abuse.

"Once the lights were shone on Emma, there was bruising all over her body -- on her stomach, she had a busted lip, bruising all over her face, on her chin area, on her legs. This child was beaten and bruised so badly," said prosecutor Tina Ansari in court on Tuesday. "Meanwhile, the defendant is in the ambulance talking on the cell phone."

"She doesn't delay. She doesn't stall. She takes her to Texas Children's Hospital and she tells them everything," said defense attorney Julie Ketterman.

This afternoon, prosecutors showed the jury graphic autopsy photos of Emma's injuries, which caused Young to become emotional.

Young is charged with injury to a child by omission. If she is convicted, she could receive up to life in prison. Coe is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child and will go to trial separately in September.

Stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for the latest on this trial.


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