files lawsuit in Marcus's death
September 6, 2006
SPRINGBORO -- The
mother of a 3-year-old developmentally disabled child who died in
foster care filed a $5 million lawsuit on Tuesday against county
officials, the agency that placed the boy and the foster parents
charged in his death.
Donna Trevino, a
Middletown woman whose son had been removed from her home because of
allegations of neglect, is seeking $5 million.
Liz and David Carroll
Jr. are jailed on charges that include involuntary manslaughter in
the death of Marcus Fiesel. The couple, who have pleaded not guilty,
are being held at the Hamilton County Jail in Cincinnati on $10.1
million bond each. Prosecutors said they would seek murder
indictments in Clermont County, where the Carrolls lived at the time
of the boy's death, perhaps as early as today.
The lawsuit claims the
defendants were negligent in failing to adequately supervise the
placement and treatment of the boy.
Prosecutors say the
Carrolls wrapped the Marcus in a blanket and packing tape, and left
him in a closet while they went to a family reunion in August in
Kentucky. The boy was dead when the Carrolls returned two days
David Carroll burned the boy's body and may have dumped some of the
remains in the Ohio River. They allege the couple made up a story
about the child wandering off.
Besides the Carrolls,
the defendants in the suit in Butler County Common Pleas Court are
the county commissioners, the county's Children Services department
and Lifeway for Youth Inc., the private agency that placed the
Amy Baker, a woman who
lived with the Carrolls and has been credited with helping
investigators, also is a defendant.
On Aug. 15, Liz
Carroll, 30, took her 2-year-old son, a 1-year-old foster child and
another 1-year-old she was baby-sitting to Juilfs Park in Anderson
Township, Ohio. She told sheriff's deputies that Marcus had been
with her and apparently wandered away when she fainted because of a
Hundreds of searchers
helped authorities look for the boy for four days. The Carrolls were
arrested Aug. 28.
"The Carrolls did this
for the money; that's why they were watching Marcus," Hamilton
County Prosecutor Joe Deters said Friday. "I'm just sick that people
keep using Marcus for a check."
Trevino lashed out at
critics who suggested she was trying to cash in on Marcus after his
death, saying they didn't know what it was like to be in her shoes.
Services removed Marcus and two half-siblings from Trevino's home in
April. Middletown police had responded to the home at least twice
earlier, including in January when the boy fell from a roof after he
climbed through a second-floor window.
"If she would have
paid attention half as much to Marcus as she's doing now, we
wouldn't be in this situation today," Deters said Friday. "She
should mourn her child, but to angle this for money, I think, is
Kevin Hughes, she shouldn't be vilified for suing.
unfortunately, the only one with the ability to bring the claim. She
has lost the life and affection of her son," he said.
"It's not about the
money," he added. "It's about accountability. We do not want this to
Dawn Grady, a Children
Services spokeswoman, said officials had not seen the lawsuit and
had no comment.
The Ohio Department of
Job and Family Services has asked all 88 county children services
boards to check on children placed in foster homes through Lifeway
executive director of Lifeway for Youth, has said the Carrolls lied
and misled his organization.
A fund has been
established at Fifth Third Bank in Marcus' name. Originally, the
money was earmarked for his funeral, but after Butler County agreed
to pay those expenses, the fund will assist families with
developmentally disabled children, the attorneys said.
this story also came from The Middletown Journal.