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Raw food adherents acquitted in baby's death

Associated Press
Published November 8, 2005

MIAMI - A father and mother were acquitted Monday of aggravated manslaughter in the death of their 6-month-old daughter, who prosecutors argued died of malnourishment because she was fed a strict raw foods diet.

However, Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn were found guilty of four counts of child neglect for each of their other children, who were also on the diet. They face anywhere from probation to 20 years in prison at sentencing Dec. 15.

A jury deliberated two hours in concluding the three-week trial.

The couple thanked God after the split verdict, calling it a victory. The four other children, two boys and two girls, are now in the custody of an aunt. The Andressohns said they haven't seen them in more than two years.

"I can't wait to see my children," said Lamoy Andressohn, who remained free on bail with her husband.

Assistant State Attorney Herbert Walker III said he was disappointed by the manslaughter acquittal.

Woyah Andressohn weighed about 7 pounds, half the normal weight for her age, when she died in May 2003. Prosecutors said the diet of wheat grass, coconut water and almond milk caused the infant to starve to death. The Andressohns ate and fed their children only natural, uncooked foods.

The couple's defense was that the girl had DiGeorge syndrome, a rare chromosomal disorder in which a person is missing the thymus gland that produces T-cells necessary for development of a healthy immune system. That led to her death, their lawyer, Ellis Rubin, argued.

[Last modified November 8, 2005, 02:15:36]

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