With a fridge and pantry
full of food, juices, snack and canned food, how does a a five month
old baby starve to death? In the home of Tivasha E. Logan, the 25 year
old mother, were her boyfriend, Chauncey Gardner, the 27 year old
father of Chauntasia, as well as five other children.
On November 1, 2009 at about 6:00 a.m., Police were called to the home
and Paramedics were told that a child was not breathing. Paramedics
were not prepared to see five month old Chauntasia, her ribs
protruding, her spine visible and her eyes sunken into her head, on the
floor with her skin loose and wrinkled up. At 6:11 a.m., Chauntasia was
pronounced dead. In the home, Police found plenty of food for the
children and the adults, a lot of beer and only 2 ounces of baby
formula. This was odd because sitting in plain view was a Social
Security check in the amount of $674.00 that was specifically meant to
take care of this little Angel.
On Monday, November 2, Sheriff's Detectives arrested Chauncey and
Tivasha and they were both charged with felony murder, willful kill
murder while engaged in a certain felony as well as aggravated child
abuse. At that point, it was believed that Chauntasia, who had been
born prematurely, had been starved to death, she weighed only six
pounds at the age of five months old:
"It's mind bobbling.
I've done this job my entire adult life and I've seen a lot of violence
and babies, I can't remember seeing one starve to death. This child was
on end until she finally died from starvation"
Tivasha said that she was feeding her daughter every three to three and
a half hours and was giving her two ounces of formula each time,
Tivasha had been watering down the formula 3 to 1 instead of the 1 to 1
as the instructions said, she claimed she never read the label:
appalling. It's unbelievable that anybody would starve a child to
death. Your own
and blood, it's just unbelievable"
Grady Judd said that these two parents were in denial about what had
happened and how they caused it and they had offered no explanation in
the death of their daughter. Chauntasia had not been taken to the Dr.
since she had been released on July 29, at that time she weighed seven
pounds eight ounces. A healthy baby, at five months old would weigh
about 14 pounds and a Pediatrician was shocked to hear that this Angel
weighed only six pounds:
"Oh my God. Six pounds?
Six pounds would be way, way, way below the third percentile.
not even on the curve. If that baby came into the office, we'd have
sent them to the hospital"
Tivasha told Police that she had been trying to get her daughter in to
see a Doctor, but there were none who would take her medicaid. Vonda
Stewart, Tivasha's mother said that she had confronted her daughter
only two weeks before and told her to take the baby to the doctor
because she had lost too much weight. Tivasha admits that she lied to
her mother and she had taken her to the Doctor who had said the baby
weighed eight pounds. Tivasha admitted that she lied in order to get
her mother to leave her alone. Tivasha said she knew that her baby was
in trouble, but was afraid if she took her to the Doctor, the
Department Of Children And Families would take her away. Spokesperson
from DCF said they don't always take the children away first thing,
they assess the situation and try to help:
"Your child's medical
needs, their safety, always comes first. If there's any way we can
family and not remove the child, we will"
Carrie Hoeppner said that between the years of 2000 and 2007, this
family had been investigated four times. At times, people said the
children were unsupervised, but there were no indications that the
children were in immediate danger and they were not removed from the
home. The remaining five children were placed with a relative and DCF
was working to make sure they could all stay together. Three children
ages four, three and two, were the children of both of the parents and
two other children, ages ten and six, were children that he had with
someone else. Chauncey told Police that he had a total of ten children.
It seems to me that with ten children, a person would KNOW
how to read a label on a can of
It was reported that the couple were no strangers to law enforcement
and had been convicted of crimes such as possession of Cocaine, drive
while drunk and resisting arrest. Sounds to me like these children
should have been removed from that home a LONG
In December of 2010, Tivasha was in court asking that she be allowed to
go home and take care of her children. Luckily, Judge Michael Hunter
didn't allow it after seeing pictures of Chauntasia:
"They say a picture is
worth 1,000 words. Well, these pictures are worth 10,000 words. She
like a person
out of Africa or a concentration camp. I can't comprehend how any
intelligent person cannot look at this
child, or a child that looked like this one did and not see that
the child was starving to death"
Stephan Nelson - Chief Medical Examiner
In June of 2012, jurors were
in court listening to conversations of Tivasha talking to Detectives.
In one interview, she insisted that she had not noticed that her
daughter was losing so much weight until just a few days before she
died. In a second interview she admitted that she had lied and she
actually had noticed the weight loss. Stephen Fisher told the jury that
Tivasha didn't have the intellectual ability to take care of a baby who
was born prematurely and needed special care and possibly had brain
damage. Tivasha said that she had lied because she didn't want to go to
"Someone is gonna
expect that I did something wrong to her. Me and my boyfriend were the
The prosecution rested it's case and the jury was sent out to
deliberate. The jury deliberated for about seven hours and came back
with a guilty verdict for first degree murder and aggravate
manslaughter of a child. Tivasha Logan, who was by then 27 years
old, was facing life i prison for the starving death of
On July 12, 2013, Tivasha was sentenced to life without parole to which
she shook her head and started to cry. Stephen Fisher said that she had
never meant to hurt her child:
"She loved her child
and her death was the last thing she wanted"
Then she SHOULD
have taken her
to the E.R., she SHOULD
read the directions on the formula, she SHOULD
have thought of the child
instead of worrying that SHE
might be in trouble for what was happening. She allowed her child to
die so she wouldn't have to go to jail or lose her children. If she had
lost her children, at least Chauntasia would be alive. Chauncey Gardner
had not yet gone to trial, but was facing the same charges and was
being held without bail.
In May of 2013, in his closing arguments in court, Assistant State
Attorney Mark Levine said that the death of this little Angel was not
"It was a long, drawn
out process that lead to the baby's death"
Mark Levine said that there was no excuse for these two parents to NOT
have nurtured this baby. As it turned out, there had been a
nutrition assistance program that had ordered over 300 bottles of read
to eat, high calorie formula for Chauntasia and neither of these
parents had bothered to pick them up.
Public Defender, Austin Maslanik said that these two parents were
young, immature and undereducated as well as living in a dysfunctional
relationship, but they were doing their best. Austin said that at the
time, Chauncey wasn't even living in the home and he had tried to get
Tivasha to take the baby to the Doctor or the hospital when he saw how
thin she was. Funny, he never volunteered to do it himself and if he's
old enough and mature enough to have ten children, he's old enough and
mature enough to take care of them or STOP having them.
A jury took about three hours to convict Chauncey Gardner, who by then
was 30 years old, guilty of aggravated child abuse and aggravated
manslaughter of a child and he was facing up to 120 years in prison. In
July of 2013, a Judge, who makes himself appear to not care about
children, sentenced Chauncey to only 30 years in prison, that was the
minimum that the law would allow. Some people were not happy about that:
"The killing of a baby
should never occur in this country and that's why I believe he should
to the max"
Prosecutors had wanted Chauncey to go to prison for life without
parole. Chauncey had this to say:
"I'm sorry about what
happened to my daughter. If there was anything in this world that I
to have just one more day with my child, I would"
Austin Maslanik said they would appeal this ruling.