Murder Charge for Mom of Boy Found in Septic Tank

Ashley White accused of accidentally killing her son
By Brownie Marie,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2015 9:18 AM CDT
Murder Charge for Mom of Boy Found in Septic Tank
Ashley White is shown in this photo.   (New River Valley Regional Jail)

(Newser) – The Virginia woman whose son was found in a septic tank in March was charged with felony murder this week in the boy's death. That adds to the charges Ashley White, 31, faces: She was previously charged with child abuse and neglect for the circumstances leading to the death of 5-year-old Noah Thomas. Here's how the charges relate to each other, per a statement from the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office: Felony murder "is defined as the accidental killing, contrary to the intention of the parties, while in the commission of some other felonious act. That other felonious act listed is the abuse and/or neglect of her child."

A cause of death has not been released, and an attorney for White in April noted the evidence indicates White "left two children at home by themselves—not that she intentionally harmed them or killed her child." White originally said Noah disappeared while she napped on the morning of March 22, but USA Today has this from Pulaski County Commonwealth Attorney Mike Fleenor: He previously said White and her son's father, 32-year-old Paul Thomas, told police they left the kids alone in their Dublin home while White drove Thomas to work. The boy was found on March 26 in the family's septic tank. The AP notes no new charges have been filed against Thomas. (Read more septic tank stories.)

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