Lawyer for mother denies teen died being denied medical care

South Carolina News

T’Kia Smith

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina mother killed her 16-year-old daughter by withholding medical care to her during her life, Orangeburg County deputies said.

But a lawyer for Kynika Green says the woman’s daughter had serious medical problems, wasn’t expected to live past age 1 and an autopsy showed the teen died of natural causes.

Green, 32, was charged this month with murder in the April 30 death of T’Kia Smith. The teen’s grandmother 64-year-old Dasie Green is charged with neglect.

An arrest warrant accused Green of withholding medical care for her daughter from Nov. 22, 2002 — her date of birth — until her death on April 30, 2019, according to The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg.

Defense attorney Lawrence Keitt says the teen was misdiagnosed during her life by her doctors.

“Trouble is, none of the doctors who misdiagnosed her condition is here, so if they really want to bring charges against anybody, they would bring it against the doctors, not the parents,” Keitt said.

The details of the teen’s medical problems weren’t disclosed.

A deputy responding to the home the day the teen died said the grandmother last saw her alive the night before, but the mother had checked on her daughter several times during the night, according to a police report.

The deputy tried to talk to Green, but she was in shock and couldn’t communicate, the officer wrote in his report.

The deputy also noted that there was no medicine in the home and called a State Law Enforcement Division team that investigates the deaths of juveniles.

The South Carolina Department of Social Services said it removed several other children from the home amid worries for their safety.

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