San Antonio, Texas, parents are on trial for the death of their 7-month-old son, who allegedly weighed only ten pounds and suffered from meningitis and sepsis for weeks leading up to his death.
The San Antonio Express-News reported that Qwalion Busby, 36, and Marquita Johnson, 33, are charged with injury to a child by omission for the December 2015 death of their son Naeem Busby. Prosecutors claimed the child succumbed to sepsis caused by a common ear infection.
The pair is accused of not vaccinating the infant and treating him with essential oils and natural remedies. CPS Investigator Veronica Ewing told KABB that Qwalion and Johnson noticed Naeem was breathing irregularly and gave him a bath before calling 911.
Neighbors also told KENS in May that the family was on a vegan diet.
“He told me that they were doing a more natural type of raising the children in regards to organic eating,” Ewing told KABB.
Ewing also claimed Qwalion noticed in September that his son’s hair was falling out and skin flaking off and changing color.
Despite Naeem’s condition, Ernest Busby, the baby’s grandfather, described him as “chubby” in October. Ernest testified that the baby didn’t look small in photos. Similarly, Naeem’s grandmother Elaine Busby described his skin as “pure and beautiful.”
“My father’s 5-foot-5. My mother’s 4-foot-10,” Ernest said in court. “We’re not small, just a little short.”
A medical examiner and pediatric critical care specialist called to the stand by the prosecution said the fatal ear infection could have been easily treated by five types of antibiotics.
Specifically, pediatric disease specialist Dr. Ralph Faville determined that Naeem’s medical issues would have been apparent to “any responsible parent” for weeks or months. Based on an autopsy, Dr. Faville deduced that the 7-month-old was profoundly ill for “24 to 36 hours.”
Both are charged with first-degree felony injury to a child by omission, or neglect. The couple faces five to 99 years in prison if convicted.
[Feature Image: Bexar County PD]