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Couple Charged in Starvation Death of Baby

February 7, 1990

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) _ A 5-month-old girl starved to death while her parents were on a weekend drinking binge, police said.

Doris Franklin, 32, and Eddie James Amous, 39, were jailed on $7,500 bail each on manslaughter charges Tuesday. Amous also was charged with violating probation and Ms. Franklin with public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

The infant, Brittany Franklin, and four siblings, ages 1, 2, 4 and 5, were left in the care of their 11-year-old brother Friday afternoon. He found Brittany dead in bed Sunday morning, police said.

The boy said the baby fell off a bed and hit her head Saturday night, said Sgt. Fred Clanton. But an autopsy revealed the child died of starvation.

Clanton said the couple drank at an unlicensed club Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday morning without checking on the children. The 11-year-old had tried unsuccessfully to feed the girl, who apparently was malnourished before the weekend, Clanton said.

There was food in the house but ″only cereal and stuff like that - not the kind of stuff you’d want to give a baby,″ Clanton said.

The five surviving children were taken into state custody and later turned over to their grandparents.

″I talked to the mother about noon Sunday and she was crying a little bit. I’m not sure if it was hearing the baby was dead or because she got caught,″ Clanton said.

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