Child Abuse and Murder Case of Disabled Teen Finally Wraps up!

January 9, 2020 Abuse and Neglect Attorney
A grave marker carving of a young woman lying on her side, covering her face. She looks as if she is grieving.
16-year-old Hannah Warner died of neglect when her mother failed to meet her most basic needs, and she wasn’t able to care for herself.

If you follow our blog then you’re probably already familiar with the case of 16-year-old Hannah Warner, the mentally and physically disabled teen who died as a result of her mother’s neglect. Hannah was confined to a bed as a result of “chromosome translocation”, a disease that resulted in her needing a feeding tube, tracheotomy, and requiring assistance with all of her daily activities and care. 

She had been dead for over a day when the police discovered her.

When Hannah’s body was discovered by police doing a suspicious death check, she was found in a closed bedroom, the door covered by a blanket on which a piece of paper with the word “sleeping” written on it was hung. Officers at the scene noted that the disabled teen was lying in a soiled bed, had large open sores on her back and buttocks, and that her tracheotomy had been non-surgically removed. The medical examiner later also noted that her feeding tube had not been recently changed, and may not even have been in working order at the time of her death. She weighed only 43 Lbs at the time of her death.

Her mother admitted to not caring for her disabled daughter properly.

Hannah’s mother, Cari Ann Wright, was charged with Torture, First Degree Child Abuse, and Open Murder, however, the torture charge was later dismissed. She admitted to having neglected her daughter and told investigators that she had not fed Hannah in several weeks. She also said that while caring for her daughter was extremely challenging for her, she hadn’t sought out any help, and was the sole caregiver for the girl’s entire life.

The charges against Cari Ann Wright were extremely severe!

Wright underwent a criminal responsibility evaluation at Michigan’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Ann Arbor and was determined to be suffering from mental illness at the time of the crime. However, she did not meet the standard for legal insanity, so her attorney’s initial plan to use the insanity defense had to be scrapped. Wright later accepted a plea bargain, pleading guilty to a single count of Second Degree Murder While Mentally Ill. In return, prosecutors agreed to drop the murder and child abuse charges against her. But that charge is still a very serious one. 

She was recently sentenced to spend a very long time in prison!

By allowing Wright to plead to a charge of Second Degree Murder While Mentally Ill, the prosecutor’s office has ensured that she will receive psychiatric services while in prison. This, according to the Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon, reflects “the best outcome we could get for everyone” in a case that ended tragically – with a mother facing decades in prison and a disabled teenager dead. At her recent sentencing hearing, Wright was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison.

Most parents of special needs kids are extremely devoted!

As Attorney Brandy Thompson points out, this story isn’t the usual scenario. Most parents of special needs children aren’t neglectful. Often parents are doing their very best to care and advocate for their special needs children, yet they still somehow wind up with a CPS investigation. We’ve successfully represented many special needs parents facing false allegations of neglect under these circumstances over the years.

Being accused of child abuse is extremely serious in Michigan.

Child abuse is a very serious crime, and people convicted of child abuse or neglect in Michigan usually face very severe punishments and long prison sentences. That’s why, if you’re ever accused of child abuse, you’re going to need help from a hard-working and aggressive child abuse defense attorney. One with years of experience and a lot of skills. In other words, you’re going to need us. Here at The Kronzek Firm, we’ve been helping the people of Michigan defend themselves against allegations of abuse and neglect for decades, and we can help you too. Call 866 766 5245 today, and make sure you have the best defense possible.