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Child Abuse Los Angeles

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2000 | CAITLIN LIU, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The disease wastes away muscles, curves the spine and causes severe vision problems. But myotonic dystrophy is not known to cause the type of malnutrition afflicting rail-thin Lindsay Gentry when she died at age 15 in 1996, an expert witness testified Monday in the retrial of her parents. "I don't think I've ever seen a patient with myotonic dystrophy suffering from malnutrition," said Dr. Thomas Anderson, a professor who runs the Muscular Dystrophy Clinic at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2000 | CAITLIN LIU, TIMES STAFF WRITER
They walked slowly through the courthouse, hand in hand as he steadied her uneven gait. Nearly a year after a mistrial on murder charges in the death of their severely disabled teenage daughter, whom prosecutors alleged had died of child abuse and starvation, Michael and Kathleen "Katrina" Gentry were in court again Tuesday to face potential jurors for their new trial on reduced charges of involuntary manslaughter, child endangerment and conspiracy.
NEWS
August 1, 1999 | RICHARD WINTON, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
For most of her life, Melissa was the family slave. She was kept out of school and often forbidden to speak at home. She was forced to do the household chores and lapped water from the toilet. She was beaten with a vacuum hose, burned with an iron, hit with a belt buckle and allegedly sexually molested. When strangers came around, Melissa was sent to the closet to hide. But the 19-year-old El Monte woman has been freed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 14, 1999 | EDWARD J. BOYER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The woman suspected of killing 3-year-old Elijah J. Johnson by putting him in a bathtub filled with scalding water surrendered to police Thursday, investigators said. Leona Patrice Hightower, 23, of Los Angeles was arrested when she voluntarily arrived at the LAPD's South Bureau station accompanied by a lawyer, said the district attorney's spokeswoman, Sandi Gibbons. Hightower is being held on one count of murder and one count of child abuse causing death, Gibbons said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 7, 1999 | EVELYN LARRUBIA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Jurors on Thursday told a judge they were hopelessly deadlocked on whether a severely disabled 15-year-old girl died of natural causes or was starved to death by her parents, setting the stage for a retrial. Jurors, by a 10-2 margin, favored acquitting the parents on murder charges, but seven jurors voted for conviction on child-abuse charges. The trial and heated jury deliberations focused on the opinions of opposing medical experts and treating physicians.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 1999
Attorneys for a couple charged with murder for allegedly starving their 15-year-old daughter to death insisted in final arguments Monday that the girl succumbed to congenital illness, not starvation. Lawyers for Michael and Kathleen "Katrina" Gentry rebutted allegations that the couple repeatedly abused and neglected their daughter, Lindsay, for eight years before her death in February 1996.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 1999 | EVELYN LARRUBIA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The 25-year-old sister of a severely disabled girl took the witness stand Tuesday and recanted prior statements, insisting that her parents never abused either daughter. Sheila Pollard, who said she did not want to be in court, denied telling school officials, social workers and others that her parents, who are on trial for allegedly starving Lindsay Gentry to death, were abusive. Pollard testified that she and her sister were disciplined with a cotton belt and paddle only as a last resort.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 1999 | EVELYN LARRUBIA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A 20-year-old Sherman Oaks man who branded his girlfriend's toddler repeatedly with a hot fork was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison for child abuse. Deputy Dist. Atty. Jennifer Turkat said Christopher Ryan Scott and his girlfriend took the 16-month-old boy to Sherman Oaks Hospital in June, showing doctors "red marks" they claimed the boy must have inflicted on himself.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 10, 1998 | EVELYN LARRUBIA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As prosecutors announced that they will seek the death penalty against a man accused of killing two of his children and burying them in the forest, a Los Angeles judge Monday dismissed murder charges against his wife and her sister. Petra Ricardo and Maria Ricardo, who together bore Marcos Esquivel 14 children, are still accused of child endangerment and being accessories to murder after the fact.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 1998 | EVELYN LARRUBIA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The expected penalty came at the end of a short, low-key hearing. Maria Barajas, a 31-year-old woman with a history of child abuse, was ordered Wednesday morning to serve 25 years to life in prison for shaking and fatally beating her 19-month-old daughter. The lengthy term was the only option the law allowed and beyond that, it was a fitting sentence, Superior Court Judge Katheryne Stoltz said.
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