A jury has convicted a Texas couple of a first-degree felony in the death of their seven month-old baby who died in December 2015 from a massive blood infection after his parents treated his ear infection with essential oils instead of with antibiotics.
The San Antonio Express is reporting on the story of Marquita Johnson, 32, and Qwalion Busby, 35, who were convicted of intentionally causing the death of their baby boy, Naeem Busby after ignoring signs of a medical crisis resulting from an untreated ear infection. At the time of his death, he weighed 11.5 pounds and had meningitis and a blood-stream infection known as sepsis.
The child’s parents, who do not believe in vaccinations or traditional medicine, used essential oils and natural remedies to treat the boy’s infection as well as the rashes and hair loss he experienced before his death.
Johnson testified that she does not always reject medical doctors but stated that her two older children were raised by homeopathic methods. She admitted to never taking Naeem to a doctor before his death even though the infection could have been easily treated if caught in time.
As the Express reports, the jury was unmoved by arguments from the defense which claimed that despite the child’s rashes, hair and weight loss and breathing problems, there were no obvious signs of a threat to the child’s life before he passed away two days before Christmas in 2015.
Busby’s sister, Tiffany King, said she visited Naeem “around December 15th” of 2015 and was shocked when he died a week later. She claimed “he had been playing in my arms and seemed completely fine.”
However, photos shown in court clearly showed that Naeem’s skin was red and flaky.
Witnesses for the prosecution said that the child’s declining health would have been obvious to “any responsible parent.”
Prosecutor Kristina Escalona said “justice was done” moments after the unanimous verdict.
Although a felony conviction of this sort carries a five to 99 year sentence, the jury recommended 10 years of probation for the couple. They will be held in the Bexar County jail until March 29 when State District Judge Melisa Skinner will hear their pre-sentencing report and dictate the terms of their probation. Those terms could include up to 180 days in jail.