Ohio mom sentenced for Mountain Dew killing of diabetic daughter

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A 41-year-old mom in Ohio who mostly fed her daughter Mountain Dew through a baby bottle until her teeth rotted was sentenced to nine- to 13-and-a-half years in prison for involuntary manslaughter on Friday. 

Tamara Banks faced charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter and endangering children, but the murder and endangering children charges were dropped when she pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, according to FOX 19. 

The girl’s father, Christopher Hoeb, 53, faced the same charges and has also pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He will be sentenced next month. 

“This is one of the most tragic cases I have ever encountered,” Clermont County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Clay Tharp told The Cincinnati Enquirer.

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The 4-year-old, whose diabetes went undiagnosed for years, was found unresponsive in January 2022, Clermont County Prosecutor Mark Tekulve said in a news release at the time. 

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The girl was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced brain-dead and eventually taken off life support, FOX 19 reported. 

Her cause of death was ruled to be diabetic ketoacidosis, a complication of diabetes in which acid levels in a person’s blood become life-threatening, according to the Mayo Clinic. 

Mountain Dew bottles

“Due to the neglect and abuse by her parents, K.H. suffered for a majority of her short life,” Tekulve said, adding that her diabetes was “left undiagnosed and untreated over a long period of time.” 

Banks oldest son Jerry told FOX 19 in March that he never met his little sister because she was kept away from him, but he remembers his younger brother going into Diabetic ketoacidosis years before and had to force his mom, who he said was passed out, to take him to the hospital.

Clermont County Jail

“One day, he just went lethargic and wouldn’t move and the only thing he would respond to was sugar and for 36 hours, she [Tamara Banks] passed out in the back room,” Jerry Banks told the station. “I had to wake her up and force her to take him to the hospital and that’s when he was found to be in DKA; The same thing that happened to [K.H.]. The doctors just so happened to catch it in time to save him.”

Banks remained in the Clermont County Jail as of Saturday night, according to the jail’s website. Clermont County is east of Cincinnati.  

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