Parents charged in girl's death
August 6, 2007 (WLS) -- Prosecutors call it a deadly case of child abuse on Chicago's South Side. A 13-year-old girl died over the weekend. Her mother and stepfather are charged in connection with her death. An autopsy shows Shavon Miles died Friday from multiple internal injuries.
Her mother and stepfather are charged with first-degree murder.
Just 73 pounds and legally blind, investigators say it is clear 13-year-old Shavon Miles was the victim of child abuse. An autopsy reveals the child suffered prior signs of abuse including burns and internal injuries to the lungs and liver. They also say malnutrition was a factor in her death.
Monday, the girl's maternal grandmother says she and her son pleaded to get custody of the child and don't understand how this could happen.
"It had to come to this in order for them to realize...they should have done more," said Trudy Hurst, victim's grandmother.
As Trudy Hurst mourns the granddaughter she was just getting to know, she blames the state's child welfare system for her death.
"They put her back in the home, but when I saw her, I knew something was wrong," said Hurst.
Thirteen-year-old Shavon Miles died this past Friday. Her mother, 34-year-old Lynnessia Hiles-Sloan and her husband, Shavon's stepfather, 31-year-old Gabriel Sloan, were charged with first degree murder in the teen's slaying. Investigators say the couple beat the girl after she passed out in front of the family home.
In court, assistant states attorney Luann Snow outlined the abuse saying, "They thought she was faking, so Gabriel threw her inside the house and started banging her head against the walls and floors." Court documents also accuse Shavon's mother of beating her daughter. Snow goes on to say, after Shavon began to scream, "her mother picked up an electrical cord and whipped her before hitting her repeatedly with a 2x4."
Investigators say, after the beating, Shavon's stepfather dragged her unconscious body upstairs, because they had a repair man coming to the house and didn't want him to see her. When she was unresponsive, the couple called 9-1-1 and told paramedics she had a seizure. Shavon Miles was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.
A spokesperson for the Department of Children and Family Services admits that the agency did have prior contact with the family, including abuse allegations against both the biological mother and father in 1994, abuse allegations against someone at the girl's school in 2006, and medical neglect allegations against the biological mother in 2007.
"Right now I can't tell what you I feel. I just want her back," Hurst said.
Investigators say the couple admitted to the abuse and took police to where they hid the 2x4 they used to beat the child.
Shavon's twin brother is staying with relatives. Shavon's father says he's working to get custody of the boy.
DCFS says they are continuing to look into the case and remain deeply saddened by the tragedy.
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