Courts & Crime

Family arrested in Fort Worth starvation case

FORT WORTH &mdahs; Leosha Barnett weighed just under 80 pounds at the time of her death in May.

For an 11-year-old girl, that weight would be considered average by medical guidelines.

But not for a 17-year-old who police and doctors say starved to death.

The Tarrant County medical examiner's office ruled Leosha's death a homicide, caused by protein and caloric malnutrition.

Now Leosha's older sister and her mother have been charged with injury to the disabled, accused of causing serious bodily injury to the mentally challenged girl through malnutrition -- despite having a legal duty to care for the teen.

Kyreshi Lynn Tara Stevenson, 21, has been incarcerated since Sept. 8 on a warrant of injury to the disabled. She was being held in the Tarrant County Jail on Tuesday with bail set at $35,000.

Her mother, Tasca Kuniko Johnson, 36, surrendered Thursday and was immediately released from the jail after posting a $25,000 bond. She was charged Monday.

Lesa Pamplin, Stevenson's attorney, called the case "sad."

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