The parents who allegedly starved to death their 11-month-old baby girl have an apparent conflict in their defense of the aggravated manslaughter charges.
Mark Brittain, 26, and Margaret Lehman, 23, the parents of the baby girl were arrested Sept. 4 after an investigation by the Leesburg Police Department. They are facing charges of aggravated manslaughter by neglect.
Police documented that the baby was covered in dirt and what appeared to be dried feces. Her body was covered by rashes and her thighs had open sores. Both her eyes and abdomen were sunken. Her body weighed 13 pounds and 4.4 ounces. The ER physician told the officers that the infant was extremely underweight and underdeveloped for her age.
When the parents were interviewed by the police, they indicated that the baby had been suffering a fever, but that they were able to feed her in the days before her death. Their version of the baby’s food intake was contradicted by the medical examiner’s report which stated that the infant had not eaten in at least two to three days and that the cause of her death was extreme malnutrition and starvation.
The public defender was originally appointed to represent the parents. However, the public defender filed a motion to withdraw as Brittain’s attorney late last month citing a conflict in representing him. Last week, attorney Frank Bankowitz of Orlando entered his appearance to represent Brittain.
The couple’s next court date is Oct. 19.