Couple Charged in Child’s Death Considering Plea Offer

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The cases of two women who allegedly killed a young child in a scalding bath were heard in reception court at the Baltimore City Circuit Court on July 7. 

According to the Baltimore Sun, Shateka Lawson, 47, and her partner, Alicia Lawson, 27, are allegedly responsible for severely burning Alicia’s 4-year-old son to death on July 23, 2019. Over the next nine days, the women did not seek medical attention for the boy’s burns, claiming they were worried about losing custody after past problems with Child Protective Services. 

Although the women tried to treat the injuries themselves, the boy died on Aug. 1 in Alicia’s home. Alicia then reportedly left the body in a trash can 10 miles away.

Two days later, the women reported the boy missing to the police, but Alicia eventually confessed to investigators. 

Shateka claimed she found out about the boy’s death while talking to detectives.

Both women face two counts of first-degree child abuse that resulted in death, as well as one charge each of second-degree murder, first-degree child abuse that caused severe physical injury, second-degree child abuse in custody, neglect of a minor, failure to report a child’s death, and giving a false statement to an officer. 

The prosecution offered both defendants a plea deal of life, suspending all but 30 years, with five years of probation for child abuse that resulted in death. 

Shateka’s defense attorney, Roya Hanna, and Alicia’s defense attorney, Gregory Fischer, said their clients were still considering the offer. 

Although the prosecution said the offer stands through Sept. 2, 2021, Judge Melissa M. Phinn scheduled the defendants to return to reception court with a decision on Aug. 2. 

Another plea offer was presented to Baltimore resident Marvin Vaughn, who allegedly stabbed a woman to death and injured her son in the mother’s home on the 3500 block of Chesterfield Avenue in January 2020, according to CBS Baltimore.

The Baltimore Sun reported that Vaughn, 42, got into a physical altercation with 37-year-old Theatra Bowman. Bowman’s son, 18, tried to protect his mother, and Vaughn then pulled out a knife and stabbed the two of them. 

Fox 45 News reported that Bowman died, while her son suffered from a fractured skull and required seven staples after being stabbed multiple times in the head. 

Vaughn is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree murder in front of a minor, attempted first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder in front of a minor, and carrying a deadly weapon with the intent to injure. 

He was offered a plea deal of life, suspending all but 60 years, and five years of probation for first-degree murder, and 35 years, to be served concurrently, for attempted first-degree murder. 

Defense attorney Sharon Dubey said she had not yet shared the offer with Vaughn.

Vaughn’s case will return to reception court on July 30 with a decision on the plea or to schedule a trial. 

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