Mom couldn't 'keep story straight' when 7-year-old died, officials say

Courtney Fischer Image
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
Woman charged in adoptive son's murder won't get reduced bail
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Tiffany Thomas went before a judge and the state asked to reduce bail. Here's why.

SPRING, Texas (KTRK) -- The mother charged with injury to a child in the death of her adopted son found dead in a washing machine went before a judge Tuesday morning.

Tiffany Thomas, 35, is accused of contributing to what prosecutors call "chronic abuse" of Troy Koehler, 7, by not protecting him from Jemaine Thomas, the boy's father, and/or mistreating and hurting him as well.

"I know that she wasn't probably in the home when the victim died and when she was arrested there was some indication that she did want to speak with us. But she did reserve her right to an attorney so there haven't been any further conversations about that," said prosecutor Gilbert Sawtelle with the Harris County District Attorney's office.

Troy's body was found in the washing machine at the Thomas home in Spring back in July. Tiffany was the one who initially called 911 to report her son missing.

But prosecutors say she couldn't keep her story straight.

Investigators say Tiffany told the 911 dispatcher that when her husband Jemaine arrived home from work the night before, Troy was on the couch watching TV. But when police officers arrived to take the report about Troy missing, Tiffany told them Jemaine never saw the child when he got home from work.

Text messages found on both Tiffany and Jemaine's phones show they were angry Troy had been stealing snacks from them and playing their video games. At one point, investigators say the mother told her adopted son she would put him in the oven and "turn it on," if he didn't come clean to her about eating her oatmeal creme pie cookies.

RELATED: 7-year-old's adoptive parents charged after his body was found in washing machine

Tiffany's bond is set at $150,000. Her attorney asked the judge consider lowering bail so she could have an easier time posting it to get out and continue her psychiatric treatment. Tiffany's attorney told the court she suffers from severe mental health issues. Prosecutors noted she's seeing a doctor in the jail and asked the bond be kept the same. In the end, the judge ruled bond would stay at $150,000.

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