GADSDEN, Ala. (WIAT) — The Gadsden couple accused in the 2011 death of a toddler pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon.
Brandy Lee, the mother of the 2-year-old victim, Tre’vaughn Blount, pleaded guilty to felony murder as charged. Judge David Kimberley explained to Lee that is a class A felony with a sentence that could range from 10 to 99 years in prison and additional fines. Lee will be sentenced in January.
Narsheun Smith, Lee’s boyfriend, pleaded guilty to a lesser, included offense of aggravated child abuse. Judge Kimberley proceeded to enforce Smith’s plea deal. He received a 20-year split sentence, but will ultimately only serve 5 years supervised probation.
Thursday should have been the first full day of testimony in the trial. Several witnesses took the stand to comment on Smith and Lee’s interactions with Tre’vaughn both before and during his time in the hospital on August 24th.
Wanda Johnson Noel from the Etowah County Department of Human Resources was the final person to testify before the trial broke for lunch. Noel testified that Lee was not upset and that she was taking phone calls and texting while Tre’Vaughn was hospitalized. She also testified that Lee was not upset when she notified her that her other son, Tristan, would have to be placed in foster care. At that time, Noel also questioned Lee about a phone call or text message to a cousin who was asking about what had happened to Tre’. Noel said that Lee never confirmed or denied that she told the cousin to say that Tre’ had fallen if anyone asked.
The trial never resumed. Counsel for the defense and the state met privately to work on plea agreements until shortly before 4:00 p.m. The prosecution said that neither Smith or Lee had explained why they chose to plead guilty at that point. Lee will be sentenced on January 8th at 8:30 a.m.
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