Nonverbal Girl, 12, Died After Mom Didn’t Treat Severe Wound on Her Back. Why Was Mother Spared Prison Time?

Rosa Hargrave will serve three years in home confinement instead of behind bars

<p>Marion County Sheriff

Marion County Sheriff's Office

Rosa Hargrave

An Indiana mother who pleaded guilty to neglecting her 12-year-old nonverbal daughter — who died from an infection — avoided any prison time.

Rosa “May May” Hargrave, who had autism, died in March 2023 after being taken to the hospital with an infected wound on her back and abdomen according to reports from Fox 59, the Indianapolis Star and WRTV, citing a probable cause affidavit.

Three of Rosa’s family members were ultimately charged in connection to her death, including her mother, also named Rosa Hargrave, online court records indicate. Also charged were the girl’s aunt, Felicia Hargrave, and Charles Turner, the elder Rosa’s boyfriend.

The elder Rosa was initially charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in death and three counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious injury, according to court records. But per an April 11 sentencing order obtained by PEOPLE, all but one count was dismissed as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Rosa ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of neglect leading to a serious injury and was sentenced to seven years, though none of those will be served in prison. According to the order, Rosa will serve three years in home detention while the remaining four were suspended.

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Fox 59 reported that according to the original charging documents, the Hargrave home was “unsanitary” and had a possibly toxic “malodorous” smell stemming from feces, urine, trash and rotten food.

The outlet reported that other children living in the home had bites from mice and bugs, according to authorities.

Felicia Hargrove and Charles Turner pleaded guilty to neglect of a dependent and each will be on probation for just two years, according to court records.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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