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Family members face murder charges in teen’s death

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By Erin Hill

Months after being accused of starving 17-year-old JaVontez Thomas, family members are now facing murder charges.
A grand jury indicted Thomas’ mother, Sabrina Robinson; his sister Christina Harris; and his mother’s boyfriend, Michael Butler on April 19.  The charges were upgraded from manslaughter.
The three were already facing charges for aggravated child abuse and neglect.
In October, Butler called 911 saying he believed his girlfriend’s son was dead.  When officers arrived at the mobile home in Havana, Thomas’ body was found lying face down at the foot of a bed.
His body was covered in sores and bodily waste, the report said.  Officials say they believe Thomas had been dead at least three to five days before his death was reported because his body had already begun decomposing.  After a preliminary autopsy was performed, it was determined the teen was 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed
45 pounds.
Robinson and Butler, who were being held at the Gadsden County Jail with a bond set at $225,000, are now being held without bond.  
Harris, who was released on bond in January, after Judge Barbara K. Hobbs reduced the amount from $25,000, was arrested again April 20 due to the upgraded charge.  Now she, too, is being held without bond. Their arraignment is set for May 4.

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