Oklahoma couple arrested after severely handicapped teen dies from alleged neglect
WOODS COUNTY, Okla. – An Oklahoma couple has been arrested for child neglect following the death of a severely handicapped teenager.
On April 28, sheriff’s deputies learned that a teenager was found dead inside his home near Alva.
The child’s adopted mother and caregiver, Twana Smart, told the deputy that the 17-year-old had been shaken as a baby.
As a result, he was blind, partially deaf, mute and ate from feeding tubes.
Smart told officers that the boy’s health had been declining for the last 18 months and he had not seen a doctor in over a year.
The medical examiner determined the boy died from being shaken as an infant, pneumonia, bed sores and a possible infection.
The autopsy also determined the teen suffered 22 injuries, including 12 ulcers. One of those ulcers extended to the bone.
Smart told OSBI agents that she felt if she went to a doctor, she would have been in trouble for letting the bed sores get as bad as they were.
A report by the OU Children’s Hospital Child Protection Team said it was very likely that his family’s failure to seek medical care and provide appropriate nutritional and environmental care caused his death through sepsis.
The boy’s biological father was convicted of shaking him in Las Vegas.