The father and stepmother of a Tennessee girl who died nearly three years ago after being forced to drink large amounts of liquids as punishment were sentenced to 35 years in prison on Monday.
Randall and Mary Vaughn, 42 and 59, respectively, had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and aggravated child neglect, Reuters reports. The couple had been indicted in February after the girl’s four siblings, now in foster care and ages 7 to 16, provided key details to authorities.
The girl, Alexa Linboom, had been forced to drink more than half a gallon of grape soda and water over two hours in January 2012, according to District Attorney General Dan Armstrong, as part of her punishment for drinking one or two sodas that had been set out for adults. The excessive drinking apparently caused her brain to swell, Armstrong added, resulting in her death two days later at a hospital.