WJTV News Channel 12 - Hawkins County couple could face up to 60 years or death penalty

Hawkins County couple could face up to 60 years or death penalty for murder of 5-year-old girl

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HAWKINS COUNTY, TN (WJHL) -

A Surgoinsville man and woman could face up to 60 years in prison or possibly the death penalty for first degree murder, after they were accused of the murder of a 5-year-old girl Monday.

Randall Lee Vaughn, 41 and his wife Mary Lavonne Vaughn, 58, made their first appearance before Judge John Duggar in Hawkins County General Sessions Court Friday after they were arrested by the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office for one count of first degree murder, two counts of aggravated child neglect and one count of aggravated child abuse, after the two reportedly forced Randall Vaughn’s daughter, Alexa Linboom, to drink grape soda and water over a one-to-two hour span as a punishment back in January 2012.

After the incident, Linboom was found unresponsive and was taken to a Rogersville emergency room, where she was later airlifted to Niswonger Children’s Hospital.

She reportedly suffered severe brain damage, was blue and was not responding. Linboom died just a few days later, after it was determined that she was brain bead and was removed from life support.

An autopsy ruled Linboom’s death a homicide that was caused by “acute fluid/water intoxication.” The massive fluid intake reportedly caused her brain to swell and herniate.

It will be the up to the jury if the Vaughn’s will face the death penalty.

The Vaughn’s also could face up to 20 additional years each for the child neglect and child abuse charges.

Mary Vaughn will be given a public defender and Randall Vaughn is currently looking for a private attorney.

They are both scheduled to be back in court for their pretrial hearing on April 30. Their trial was set for Oct. 20.

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