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3 convicted of neglect resulting in death of 8-year-old girl

June 14, 2022 GMT

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia man and two women have been convicted of neglect resulting in the death of an 8-year-old girl.

Jurors in Fayette County returned the verdict Monday afternoon for the girl’s father, Marty Browning Jr., his wife, Julie Titchenell Browning, and her sister, Sherie Titchenell, news outlets reported.

The three were arrested in December 2019 and charged with abuse and neglect resulting in the death of Raylee Browning. The jury acquitted them of the abuse charge.

Raylee died Dec. 26, 2018, while living with the defendants and three other children. Expert witnesses for the defense testified that Raylee died of sepsis because of a severe bacterial pneumonia infection.

Defense attorneys said Raylee’s illness happened quickly and gave them little time to react. They said their clients made the wrong “judgment call” on when to seek help.

Prosecutor Brian Parsons said another child in the home recognized that Raylee needed medical attention and argued that the defendants not only ignored her symptoms but made her illness worse by denying her food and water as a punishment.

Defense attorneys said there was no evidence of abuse, citing records from Child Protective Services that found such claims unsubstantiated.

Sentencing was set for Aug. 8. The defendants face between three and 15 years in prison.