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The ultimate form of child abuse

A Memphis TV station recently reported that a tragedy began innocently enough, when a 3-year-old boy drank milk from the carton. According to police, the events that followed were the ultimate form of child abuse.

The toddler was reportedly severely beaten by two women who roomed with the boy and his mom. The 3-year-old died from injuries allegedly sustained in the beatings; the two women have been charged with first degree homicide, while the toddler’s mom faces charges of child neglect.

Channel 13 news reports that the two women charged with murder -- 58 and 28 years old -- beat the boy with a plastic rod until it broke. After the rod broke, the older woman allegedly threw the child down a hallway.

His mother was present at the time, apparently trying to stop the beating and protect her son. When she tried to call police, her phone was taken from her by one of the women who issued a dire threat at the same time.

The mom ran to a neighbor's apartment, where she phoned law enforcement.

The mother later told police that the women had in the past struck her son. That admission formed the basis of her arrest, police said, because it indicated "a neglect to care for her son’s safety and (that she) allowed him to remain in a non-safe environment that has now led to his death."

The tragedy is immediately obvious, but it is impossible to determine exactly what happened and who is responsible by reading a news report. Those matters can only be settled in a court where evidence is heard and arguments made by an experienced Memphis criminal defense attorney.

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