A Pennsylvania mother is on trial for neglecting her 2-year-old son prior to his death last September.
Leah Lynnette Mullinix, 22, appeared in court Thursday where she waived her right to a preliminary hearing. She was released on a $10,000 unsecured bail.
Mullinix was charged with child endangerment after her son, Dante Mullinix, died in September while in the care of a man she had just met a few weeks before.
On Sept. 6, Mullinix said she had a migraine and went to the hospital, leaving Dante with her then-boyfriend Tyree Marche'll Bowie, the York Dispatch reported. Charging documents state the two had known each other for only two to three few weeks at the time.
Soon after Bowie dropped Mullinix off at the hospital, Dante became unresponsive. According to Detective Kyle Hower's testimony, Bowie gave him conflicting accounts of the incident. At first, he told the detective that the boy choked on cookies near South George and Maple streets but later said Dante became unresponsive at a home on Lexton Drive.
York City Police have charged 39-year-old Tyree Marche’ll Bowie in the death of 2-year-old Dante Mullinix. Bowie is expected to be arraigned via video at 1:30 p.m. @SamanthaRGalvez will have the latest at 4/5 on @fox43 pic.twitter.com/aSLCbfcWkf
— Valerie (@ValerieNHawkins) September 20, 2018
Bowie took the child to York Hospital around 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 6. He was transferred to Hershey Hospital, where he died on Sept. 14, just a week before his third birthday.
But Dante's injuries didn't match the story Bowie told. Dr. Wayne Ross, the Dauphin County forensic pathologist who performed an autopsy on the boy, testified that Dante died of severe traumatic brain injury, strangulation and chest compression, the York Dispatch reported.
The 2-year-old was covered in bruises and suffered bleeding on both sides of his brain as well as the base of his brain — injuries Dante didn't have hours earlier when he was recorded on surveillance footage at a local Rutter's Farm Store at 8:39 p.m.
Bowie was charged with homicide and child endangerment in September but it wasn't until Jan. 3 that police filed child endangerment charges against Mullinix for failing to provide basic care for her son in the months leading up to his death, the York Dispatch reported earlier this month.
In August, Mullinix took Dante to York Hospital for balanitis, a genital infection caused by poor hygiene that staff believed the child suffered from for days before being brought in for treatment, according to court documents. The boy was prescribed two medications that day but Mullinix waited two days to fill them PennLive reported.
According to police, the shelter she was staying at when the boy died filed a child-abuse report against her with the state regarding Mullinix's negligent care of boy's condition. Dante screamed in pain so often during those two days that shelter workers forced Mullinex to get the prescriptions filled on Sept. 2 and even showed her how to apply the medications.
At the time of Dante's death, Mullinix was also in a custody battle with her sister over the boy.
PennLive reported that Mullinix's sister, Sarah Mullinix, had filed for emergency custody of the toddler because she believed he was being neglected and in danger.