A Florida woman was arrested late last week in connection with the death of a boy who was bedridden due to a medical condition.
Lashawn Hampton, 42, stands accused of murder in the first degree, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
The name, age, and specific medical condition the boy is said to have suffered from have not been made public as of this writing.
The child did not die this year.
On Sept. 15, 2021, just before noon, the Broward Regional Communications office, a department that includes the local 911 dispatch, received a call about an “unresponsive juvenile” at a residence in Weston, Fla., a medium-sized city bordered by the famous Everglades wetlands on its northern and western boundaries. Deputies with the BSO responded to the call along with Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue and “the victim was pronounced deceased on scene,” authorities said in a press release issued last week.
According to local NBC affiliate WTVJ, the defendant lived in the tony, gated Weston community of Savanna.
An investigation ensued that began with crime scene and homicide detectives, the BSO said. The boy’s body was transported to the Broward Medical Examiner’s Office “for post-mortem examination.”
The results of the medical examiner’s inquiry determined the boy died “due to intoxication by the combined effects of acetaminophen and diphenhydramine,” detectives with the BSO said in the press release. The child’s manner of death was ruled to be a homicide.
The allegedly lethal overdose was likely the result of over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol and Benadryl, or their generic equivalents.
During the course of an “on-scene” investigation, authorities say they learned the boy “suffered from a medical condition that caused [him] to be bedridden” and that, upon inspection, was underweight and covered in rashes and bedsores all over his arms, legs, back and torso.
After that initial observation, law enforcement obtained a search warrant for the residence to investigate possible criminal neglect.
That four month-long investigation concluded with a presentation of evidence to a Broward County grand jury. Hampton was indicted on Wednesday, Jan. 26. 2021 and arrested the next day at her home. She is currently being detained in the Broward Main Jail without bond.
It is unknown if the defendant is related to the deceased.
According to jail records reviewed by Law&Crime, authorities believe the alleged victim’s murder was “premeditated.” The defendant does not currently have an attorney of record, according to those records, and a court hearing in her case has not yet been scheduled.
The boy’s name is being withheld under the terms of Marsy’s Law, a 2018 Sunshine State constitutional amendment. The terms of that amendment are quite broad but relevantly provide a large veneer of privacy for certain crime victims. The law is a nationwide movement and was originally championed and passed in California in 2008.
Hampton was arrested by the BSO Homicide Unit along with BSO Violence Intervention Proactive Enforcement Response detectives.
Criminal defendants convicted of first-degree murder in Florida are subject to the death penalty.
[image via Broward County Main Jail]
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