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SC Woman Charged With Manslaughter After Unplugging Child’s Ventilator, Police Say

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A Sumter, South Carolina woman accused of disconnecting her child’s ventilator last summer was arrested this week, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

Sharma Ladile Harris, 27, was charged Thursday with voluntary manslaughter in the death of her 13-year-old child on June 13, 2020 in Lynchburg, South Carolina.

Harris caused the death of the 13-year-old by “disconnecting the medical ventilator for an approximate 10-hour timeframe,” according to the arrest warrant.

The medical ventilator was necessary for the child’s breathing, according to police.

According to South Carolina law, SLED is required to investigate all child fatalities.

The SLED investigation based on medical records and expert medical opinions found enough probable cause to charge Harris with voluntary manslaughter, according to the arrest warrant.

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In South Carolina, “voluntary manslaughter” is the unlawful killing of a human being in sudden heat of passion upon sufficient legal provocation.

If convicted, she faces 2 to 30 years in prison.

Harris was booked at the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center Thursday. She was given a $75,000 surety or 10 percent bond.

The 3rd Circuit Solicitor’s Office will prosecute the case.

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