Attorney: Mom charged in 4-year-old son's death needs mental evaluation

July 17, 2012 9:22:46 AM PDT
The woman accused of killing her 4-year-old son by striking him with a cord may undergo a mental evaluation, according to her attorney.

Vastie Coleman is charged with injury to a child. Court documents say she struck her son, Kyron Barnes, with a cord, causing injuries that led to his death on Sunday.

Coleman was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, but did not. Her attorney says he's concerned for her mental state and is asking for a mental evaluation.

Prosecutors have not said whether the charges against Coleman will be upgraded. Two other children are now in Child Protective Services custody. An emergency custody hearing is scheduled for later Tuesday.

Coleman, 27, was already on probation for stealing prescription medication from a Walgreens where she used to work. She admitted to investigators she stole the drugs and sold them for cash.

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