DAYTON — Two minutes after a nurse said she left for the evening, noting her 14-year-old patient was in good health with stable vital signs, fed and resting comfortably, the teen’s mother was on the phone to 911 saying her daughter was in distress.
Thirty minutes later, Makayla Norman was dead, the victim of nutrition and medical neglect, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
When 14-year-old Makayla Norman died March 1, her 28-pound body was infested with lice, covered in bedsores, her skin caked in dirt, according to testimony during a court hearing Tuesday.
Her caregivers — Mollie E. Parsons, 41, of Dayton, a licensed practical nurse and Makayla’s mother, Angela Norman, 42 — were indicted last month on charges of involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony.
Both are in the Montgomery County Jail under $250,000 cash bond.
Graphic new details surfaced during a hearing in which Parsons requested her bond be lowered to $25,000 Tuesday.
Parsons was to work from 3 to 11 p.m. six days a week caring for Makayla, who had cerebral palsy, while Norman provided the care the remainder of the time.
“(Parsons) was rarely there,” Dayton homicide Detective Rebecca Rose testified Tuesday.
Witnesses told detectives Parsons, who surrendered her nursing license in August, was seen only three to four days a month at the Norman’s residence, Rose told Common Pleas Judge Mary Huffman. Each time Parsons arrived, witnesses told police the woman would honk her horn, and Makayla’s mother would join her on a shopping trip, Rose testified.
Rose said the daily records kept by Parsons indicated Makayla was in good health with no problems and had been fed when Parsons left at 10 p.m. the day of her death. Two minutes later, Makayla’s mother called 911 saying Makayla was having difficulty breathing. The child was rushed to the Children’s Medical Center of Dayton where she died at 10:30 p.m., Rose said.
Rose said — based on witnesses’ statements — Parsons was at the house that night.
“Makayla was totally dependent on her caregivers,” Rose said. “When she died, she was half her previously recorded body weight.”
Afflicted with severe cerebral palsy since birth, Makayla could not walk, talk nor in any way care for herself, Rose testified. Her only daily source of nutrition was five to six cans of Ensure, which her caregivers were to feed her through a feeding tube.
Citing medical records, Rose described Makayla’s state at death: her hair, eyebrows and lashes were infested with lice from nit to adult stages; her teeth covered with plaque; there were growths on her tongue; open bedsores covered her from “her ears to her ankles”; her skin was caked with dirt; and her colon was so impacted with fecal matter her abdomen had a prominent bulge. The open bedsores around Makayla’s hips where her diaper rested were caked with feces, Rose testified.
“She was a skeleton with skin draped over it,” Rose testified. “It was horrific.”
Judge Huffman asked Rose if Parsons was bound by law to report such conditions? “Yes,” replied Rose.
Pointing to the horrific nature of the crime and the apparent weight of the evidence, Huffman refused to reduce the bond, adding a stipulation that if Parsons was able to post the $250,000 bond, she be placed under electronic monitoring once released.
In addition, Parsons also was indicted on charges of failing to provide for a functionally impaired person, a fourth-degree felony, and a misdemeanor count of tampering with records. Norman faces an additional charge of endangering children, a first-degree misdemeanor in connection with Makayla’s sister, now 18, who was removed from the home after Makayla’s death.
The detective also testified as to what investigators from the special victims unit found when they went to home the next day: garbage and dirty dishes piled everywhere, fecal matter throughout the house, dead bugs in the refrigerator; no running water, but working Internet and telephone service paid for by Parsons. The conditions were so deplorable that detectives had Children Services remove Makayla’s sister from the home.
Rose also testified that Children Services had investigated a referral in 2009 from medical personnel about Makayla, but the investigation proved “inconclusive.”
In 2004, Makayla’s mother withdrew from the Dayton Public Schools to home-school the child. On questioning by the Dayton Daily News, school officials admitted they violated their own policies, failing to follow up on Makayla’s progress during her final seven years.
Two other nurses — Kathryn Williams, 42, of Englewood and Mary K. Kilby, 63, of Miamisburg — were both indicted on charges of failing to provide for a functionally impaired person and a misdemeanor count of failing to report child abuse or neglect. The later charge was dismissed without prejudice and the former reduced to a first-degree misdemeanor. Both were released on $10,000 bond and placed on electronic monitoring.
Williams, a registered nurse, supervised Parsons and was to visit the family home at 707 Taylor St., on a monthly basis. Kilby, also a registered nurse, supervised the management of Makayla’s case and was to visit the home every six months.
Homicide detectives have said Kilby visited the home five days before Makayla died.
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