ROGERSVILLE, TN (AP) - A judge has sentenced an East Tennessee couple to 35 years in prison each in the death of his 5-year-old daughter after she was forced to drink grape soda as punishment.
The Kingsport Times News said 41-year-old Randall Lee Vaughn and 58-year-old Mary Lavonne Vaughn of Surgoinsville were sentenced Monday in Hawkins County Criminal Court.
The Vaughns pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and aggravated child neglect.
Officials said that on Jan. 1, 2012, the Vaughns forced Alexa Linboom, who formerly lived in Rock Falls, Illinois, to drink about 2.4 liters of soda and water over one to two hours as punishment. The massive liquid intake caused her brain to swell and herniate, and she died two days later.
The girl's mother, Katie Linboom of Rock Falls, told the Sterling Daily Gazette in Illinois she visited her daughter's grave in Surgoinsville after the hearing and felt some closure.
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