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Friday, May 24, 2024
Friday May 24, 2024
Friday May 24, 2024

Mother vomits on stand as grisly photos emerge in trial for starvation death of disabled son

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Michigan woman faces conviction for murder, child abuse, and torture of 15-year-old timothy Ferguson

The courtroom was gripped by a chilling scene as Shanda Vander Ark, a 44-year-old mother from Michigan, faced trial for the child abuse, murder, and torture of her disabled 15-year-old son, Timothy Ferguson. The trial took a dramatic turn when Vander Ark vomited on the stand upon being shown pictures of her malnourished son’s body.

Timothy Ferguson’s tragic death, attributed to malnourishment and hypothermia, came under scrutiny during the trial. Vander Ark claimed to have given her son a warm bath on the night he died, a statement contradicted by her older son, Paul Ferguson, 20.

Prosecutor Matt Roberts pressed Vander Ark on the details of the alleged warm bath, displaying images of Timothy’s malnourished body and asking if this reflected his appearance when placed in the bathtub. Overwhelmed, Vander Ark covered her mouth and began retching into a basket beneath the stand, prompting a temporary halt and evacuation of the courtroom.

Upon resuming proceedings, Vander Ark did not return to the courtroom, and the jury found her guilty of murder and child abuse. The sentencing is scheduled for January 29, 2024, with the possibility of a life sentence.

Paul Ferguson, facing one count of first-degree child abuse, revealed to investigators that he had given Timothy an ice bath on his mother’s instructions, leaving him in there for at least four hours. Timothy had endured various forms of abuse, including being shackled, restrained with zip ties, deprived of sleep, and subjected to taunts involving hot sauce and food deprivation.

Ferguson, attributing his actions to low self-esteem, expressed a desire to find a role model, suggesting a semblance of Stockholm Syndrome. The trial has shed light on the harrowing details of Timothy’s abuse and the disturbing dynamics within the family.

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