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2yr old baby Clifford Dodson starved to death - parents not charged

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Kingston, Tenn. — (notice the date this child died, May 3, and the date the story was first reported May 9) A Kingston, TN toddler has died of malnutrition, but his parents -- although under investigation -- have not yet been charged with his death.
Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said 2-year-old Clifford Dotson weighed 12 pounds and one ounce at the time of his death.The sheriff said the toddler's mother, Amanda Dotson, took Clifford to the Fort Loudon Medical Center's emergency room about 4:30 p.m. on May 3. Stockton said an autopsy was performed the next day and preliminary results showed the toddler died from malnutrition.

Detectives talked to the mother and father, Matthew Dotson, on Tuesday, the sheriff said, but the sheriff said, "(I) don't know the extent of the interview." (but according to the sheriff in the news video posted on the WBIR website, "the child had lived most of his life in a car seat and apparently only fed once a day. The detective went out yesterday and talked to the parents and they pretty much told him that story.")

"He was seven pounds at birth," the sheriff said, adding Clifford gained weight and at one time weighed about 30 pounds.

Stockton said the boy had spent a good deal of time restrained in a car seat and "they were feeding him sometimes once a day."

"This is the worst case of child neglect I've' ever seen in my whole career," he said.

The sheriff said several of his detectives "are having a hard time," because of the baby's death and circumstances.

The Dotsons live at 180 Lerchen Road in Roane County TN seven miles east of Kingston. Lerchen Road is east of Gallaher Road, in the area between U.S Highway 70 and Interstate 40.

Stockton said no charges have been filed in the case(this from the same sheriff that just stated "This is the worst case of child neglect I've ever seen.") as of late Wednesday afternoon, and detectives are still investigating. The case will be taken to district attorney's office. The case is likely to be presented to a grand jury, he said.

This original story along with a video can be found here:

The DA's explanation(or failure to produce an explanation) as to why charges haven't been filed can be found here:

We need to send a message to this sheriff that baby Clifford deserves justice. Sheriff Jack Stockton has the authority to lock up anyone he see's fit. I personally don't know why, after stating it's the worst case of child neglect he's ever seen, that charges against the parents haven't been filed. Please sign this petition and/or contact the sheriff directly at::
Sheriff Jack Stockton
230 N. 3rd St.
Kingston, TN 37763 PHONE: 865-376-5582

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