A woman from Rogers, Arkansas has been found guilty of second-degree involuntary manslaughter for starving her little girl to death.
A McDonald County jury found Karen Davenport-Chandler, 33, guilty after three days of testimony for the January 29, 2005, death of her 6 year-old daughter, Hannah.
Hannah was born with a birth defect, ectopic anus, that made it difficult for her to digest food and have bowel movements. Doctors ordered a special diet for the little girl that was ignored, and was a contributing factor in her death.
Davenport-Chandler testified that her daughter had reconstructive surgery in 2002 to correct her birth defect and that she treated her daughter with a fiber heavy diet and children's laxatives as prescribed by a doctor.
Dr. Keith Norton, who performed the autopsy, testified that Hannah suffered from infections in her abdomen caused by a weakness in her colon that allowed bacteria from her stool to enter her abdominal cavity.
The defense's expert testified that the little girl could not have starved to death because her intestines were full of stool. Dr. Thomas Young said her body wasn't absorbing any nutrients from the food she was eating.
Norton said Hannah, who weighed 27 pounds and stood three and a half feet tall at the time of her death, died of malnutrition and dehydration. He said if she had received medical treatment shortly before her death she probably would have lived.
Prosecutors presented evidence that Davenport-Chandler had seen at least nine doctors in the last two years of her daughters life, but failed to provide medical treatment for her critically ill daughter.
Leonard Davenport, Hannah's father, testified that he and his ex-wife were going to take the little girl to see a specialist in Kansas City but that the woman backed out because she didn't want her daughter treated as a constipation patient.
Linda Walsham, Davenport-Chandler's mother, was also facing the same charges. However, prosecutors dismissed them citing lack of evidence.
Davenport, who could have been sentenced to four years in prison for her daughter's death, was instead fined $5,000. Prosecutor Janice Durbin says she's satisfied with the outcome because Davenport is now a convicted felon.