A Texas mother who in 2018 was convicted of trying to kill her 13-year-old son by subjecting him to unnecessary surgeries and starving him until he weighed 51 pounds proclaimed her innocence in a recently-aired A&E show.
Sentenced to five years in prison, Dana Tutt, 44, was accused of lying about her son, Colby, having various chronic illnesses. Tutt also restricted the teen’s food and water, leading to his near death.
Tutt was featured in the second episode of A&E’s new series called “Accused: Guilty or Innocent?” At the time of filming in 2016, Tutt was being held on a $25,000 bond.
Tutt misled doctors about Colby’s heart, kidney, colon, and stomach issues, leading them to perform an ileostomy and gastrostomy. By the time Colby and his 9-year-old brother were removed from Tutt’s care, the teen had a feeding tube, central line, and colostomy bag and was taking several pain medications.
Tutt told show producers that being accused of trying to kill her son and lying about his medical conditions was like someone “stabbing her in the heart.”
During the documentary, Tutt claimed she stopped feeding her son because she was told it would “prolong the inevitable.”
“Me and that accusation don’t go in the same sentence,” Tutt commented. “I can’t even wrap my head around it. It destroys me as a mother. It destroys me as a human being.”
At one point, doctors referred Colby to hospice care as they believed nothing else could be done. Authorities got involved after a hospice nurse realized the severely-malnourished teen could consume foods and liquids.
While Tutt was never diagnosed with Munchausen syndrome by proxy, she was convicted in 2018 of attempted murder for starving her son and having him endure more than a dozen unnecessary surgeries.
In 2017, Child Protective Services agreed not to terminate Tutt’s parental rights because she allowed her two children to live with her parents.
Reflecting on the case years later, Tutt’s lawyer, Terri Moore, told A&E that she still believes Tutt is “absolutely innocent” of attempted murder.
She said, “I would far rather defend someone who is guilty, it doesn’t feel weird defending someone who is guilty. What’s horrible is defending someone who with every bit of your being, you believe is innocent.”
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[Featured image: Danita Tutt/Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office]