Chauntasia Gardner
May 11,  2009 - November 1, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial

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 against
children and babies, I can't remember seeing one starve to death. This child was tortured for
days on end until she finally died from starvation"
Sheriff Grady Judd

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:

"It's absolutely appalling. It's unbelievable that anybody would starve a child to death. Your own
flesh and blood, it's just unbelievable"
Commissioner Ed Smith

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.
It's not even on the curve. If that baby came into the office, we'd have sent them to the hospital"
Christina Paulson

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 support
a family and not remove the child, we will"
Carrie Hoeppner

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 formula.

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 time ago.

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 looks
like a
person out of Africa or a concentration camp. I can't comprehend how any reasonable,
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
Dr. 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 jail:

"Someone is gonna expect that I did something wrong to her. Me and my boyfriend were the last
one with her"

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 Chauntasia.

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 have 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 quick:

"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 be
sentenced to the max"
Detective Matthew Newbold

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 could
give to have just one more day with my child, I would"

Austin Maslanik said they would appeal this ruling.

Death occurred in the state of Florida
This page was created on July 3, 2014

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