Wednesday, March 17, 2004

What Kind of a Sick Mind ...
A 41-year-old woman who snapped pictures rather than help a hanging child down from his jury-rigged noose was found guilty of child neglect in a Broward courtroom Wednesday.

Jurors took a little more than an hour and were near deadlock halfway through their deliberations, causing one juror to request to be taken off the panel. That request was denied and the jurors returned their guilty verdict without commenting.

As a small 15-year-old youth was hanging by a woven black leather belt four years ago, Sandra Trotter snapped photos but didn't try to save him. He was still alive.

Jurors viewed copies of those photos, visual documents in a criminal trial that may further stain Florida's juvenile justice system as it copes with continuing fallout from a youth's death in a Miami-Dade lockup.

Trotter was a counselor at a shelter for runaways and troubled youths, the Lippman Center in Oakland Park.

''Time's passing, time's passing. That child is still hanging there,'' prosecutor Dennis Siegel told jurors during opening statements. ``She chose not to help that child, but instead chose to take not one, not two, not three, but instead four Polaroid photos of a hanging child.''

Anthony Dumas, 15, was taken down by a police officer. He died four months later in a hospital bed.
Neglect. She was found guilty of neglect.


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