Weatherford Democrat

July 10, 2013

No ruling on infant’s death


Weatherford Democrat

— By CHRISTIN COYNE

More than three months later, there has been no ruling on what caused the death of a 3-month-old Parker County boy who died April 4 after doctors found traumatic head injuries believed to be consistent with abuse. 

Linda Anderson, spokeswoman for the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office, confirmed Monday that the ME has made no official ruling on the death of Laughton Champion and said she would bring the matter to the doctor’s attention. 

Laughton’s father reportedly called authorities early April 2 and reported his son was not breathing.  

The boy’s father told authorities he hit the boy on the back to help the boy breathe or dislodge anything in his airway, court records state. 

The infant was taken to the hospital by ambulance and placed on life support.

Affidavits filed by Dr. Jamye Coffman and a CPS investigator state that an MRI and other initial tests April 2 revealed what were believed to be old and new brain bleeds and a spinal injury in the baby’s neck area. Additional diagnostic tests were pending at the time.

Laughton was pronounced dead around 1:30 a.m. April 4. 

The couple separated a few weeks prior due to domestic violence issues, the mother reportedly told CPS. She reported the boy and his 1-year-old sister left her Weatherford home healthy and happy with the boy’s father around 2:30 p.m. April 1, and she received a text that the boy was not breathing around 4 a.m. the next morning.

CPS placed the girl in foster care but the child was recently turned to her mother's family after her mother completed parenting classes and counseling. 

CPS responded to two prior complaints involving the family, according to court documents, ruling out one complaint of neglectful supervision and forwarding another physical abuse complaint to the state where the family had reportedly moved.  

The boy’s father was out on bond on a family violence charge when the boy’s death occurred.