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Philadelphia Mother Ordered To Stand Trial In Death Of Infant Son

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 32 year old woman has been ordered held for trial in the starvation death of her two month old son and for allegedly endangering his twin brother who was dehydrated and underfed, but survived after hospitalization. The mother was living in a Philadelphia shelter with her six children.

It was just two days before Christmas, when defendant Tanya Williams says she woke up early to find little Quasir Alexander did not appear to be breathing.

Williams told police his eyes were wide open and there was a little cry, like a squeak, then his head fell back. She says she fed him regularly, but the Medical Examiner has testified there was virtually no food or nourishment in his body. He weighed less than four pounds. The surviving twin weighed just over 6 pounds.

“This case is about a parent utterly failing in her duty of care. All she had to do was feed those children,’ said Prosecutor Jacqueline Coelho.

The defense says there was no intent to kill. They claim Williams, impoverished with six children, was ill and the children were struggling physically. The defense says she was doomed to fail and the children were doomed to fail.

The family had been getting social services and authorities say the investigation continues to determine if others should also be held responsible.

Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio

  • tzigane

    What a tragic story. The poor woman was probably so sleep deprived that she couldn’t remember who she fed last, she probably just fed whichever baby was crying and the quiet one just didn’t get fed. It doesn’t seem like putting her in jail will help her other kids, they’ll end up split up.

  • me

    If she was in a HOMELESS SHELTER with SIX CHILDREN how did they starve? Seems to me she was where she was supposed to be to get the help her children needed and the system FAILED THEM! Now you want to punish the victim instead of admitting the truth!

  • Tina

    If social services was already involved, then isn’t it fair to ask who dropped the ball?? Surely someone at the homeless shelter should have notified somebody that this family needed help. I see too many people on a daily basis driving brand new cars, wearing designer clothes & having their personal extremities adorned with jewelry & their hair & nails “done”…and buying their groceries on an EBT card…where is the justice? This woman has to deal with the death of her child, that should be punishment enough, perhaps the DA should go after welfare fraud cases instead & put the “help” back to the truly needy

  • girlpirate

    I will agree mostly. I grew up on a farm. We would sometimes have to take the calf away from the cow..the piglet away from the sow..they would kill/smother their own young. Not evryone is equipped to be a MOM/PARENT. But with six kids..Social an enabler. They WILL NOT REMOVE ..we do not have a system /incentive of stopping this ..mmm “two kids” to torture and starve. Cant believe there were not some flags of concern here where somebody should have been checking in. Not a breeding sow..just either very ..low intelligent (and shame on us..for enabling…not stopping) or very depressed and overwhelmed. (Shame on us..for not stopping). We have got to have stricter standards and STRICTER OVERSEEING ..THE POLICING DEPARTMENTS (SOC. SERV. ETC) ..ENFORCE THE MEETING OF STANDARDS OF CARE FOR CHILDREN.

  • itz

    Another breeding sow, 6 kids and still doesnt know to feed infants. And again with social services who enabled her. Hum wonder if she is underfed and dehydrated like the kids, or all pumped up on chips and grape soda.

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