Grieving Mom Deserves Welcome Back to Society After Charges Dropped

teddy bear in cribAt 16 years old, Nga Truong admitted to smothering her 13-month-old baby, Khyle, with a teddy bear. That was in November of 2008. Truong's life wasn't without tragedy. Back in 2000, when she was 8 years old, her 3-month-old baby brother died while she was in charge of his care.

This month, after three years in custody with no bail, I'm so insanely glad to hear that she's being released as a free woman, all charges of murder dropped. Because really, this could have been anyone.

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Her baby brother's death was listed as SIDS, and nothing to the contrary has ever hinted otherwise, but that didn't prevent it from helping to paint a picture of a teenage "baby killer" back when she was charged. And, who leaves an 8-year-old in charge of a newborn anyway? That's more her parents' fault than anything ... but it was enough to put doubt in the mind of some involved in the process. Could you imagine being accused of being responsible for your infant sibling's SIDS death, when you were only a kid yourself at the time?

She said she found her own son unconscious in his crib. It was said he had "streptococcal pharyngitis and trachea-bronchitis" -- basically, strep throat and really bad bronchitis. No word on whether or not he'd been to the doctor, but I hope he had. A lot of people underplay the risks of his illness, but instead, it sounds like the people in charge of her case totally blew it off entirely, saying instead that asphyxiation death could be congruent with suffocation. Seriously? We start accusing parents of murder even when serious medical problems are involved? Where would that end? It's not like she could have given him bronchitis intentionally.

The worst part is that she was a minor, and we know how much doubt people have about a teen mom's ability to parent. Many times she was told "that she was just a juvenile and if she would admit what she did, she would remain in the juvenile court where she could get help." She wasn't allowed to talk to her parents or a lawyer before her "confession" either, which they're considering now was made out of coercion, under pressure. No benefit of the doubt for this girl at all ... her baby brother's death was ruled as SIDS and her own child was very ill, but yet somehow it's all her fault? And worse, she just spent three years locked up too, being told she'd killed her own son.

While I do think that some parents made very clear choices that resulted in their babies' deaths and should be charged for it, how scary is it when totally legitimate and insanely tragic deaths get a mother in jail, accused of murder? I'm really, really glad she's free, though my guess is her mental state is probably, well ... she's probably very, very scarred for life. I'd be shocked if she ever had another child after this as well. Remember the story of the drunk couple whose baby died of SIDS? So many people wanted them held responsible too, but we can't go blaming parents for deaths they had no control over, or else we end up with situations like this -- a serious tragedy not once but twice in this girl's short life, turned against her like she's some monster.

How do you feel about Nua Truong being set free?

 

Image via Janineomg/Flickr

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