Family members plead not guilty in death of malnourished teen

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By: Lanetra Bennett
May 4, 2017

HAVANA, Fla. (WCTV) -- An arraignment was held Thursday morning for three family members charged with murder in the death of a 17-year-old boy.

The teen, Javontez Thomas, was found starved to death in his bedroom in his family's home in Havana back in October.

Javontez's mother, Sabrina Robinson, her boyfriend, Micheal Butler, and the teen's sister, Christina Harris, were each charged with murder, aggravated child abuse and child neglect.

Thursday, all three pleaded not guilty.

Robinson and Butler were both present in court this morning, but Harris was not.

Lawyers also discussed whether to have all three trials together and whether all sides will be ready for speedy trial in September.

A case management hearing has been set for July 6th. Judge Barbara Hobbs told all parties to have a plan of action prepared by that date and to bring forward any issues to be addressed at that time.

By: Julie Montanaro
April 28, 2017

HAVANA, Fla. (WCTV) -- Family members accused in the starvation of a 17-year-old boy are now facing murder charges.

A Gadsden County grand jury indicted his mother, Sabrina Robinson, her boyfriend, Micheal Butler, and the teen's sister, Christina Harris.

All three are now facing charges for murder, aggravated child abuse and child neglect.

17-year-old Javontez Thomas' body was found decomposing at the family's Havana home last October. Deputies estimated his weight at just 45 pounds and prosecutors say the medical examiner believes he starved to death.

All three are expected in court next week.

By: Lanetra Bennett
October 31, 2016

HAVANA, Fla. (WCTV) -- Neighbors are still in shock over what happened at 119 Salem Lane in Havana.

Three people are now facing manslaughter charges.

"I feel like they got what they deserve," said Kelvin Green, who lives next door.

50-year-old Sabrina Robinson was arrested October 19th after her son, 17-year-old Javontez Thomas, was found starved to death in his bedroom. Robinson's boyfriend, 57-year-old Micheal Butler, and Robinson's 24-year-old daughter, Christina Harris, were arrested Friday.

Green said, "I had talked to him the next day. He was like, well I never knew that was going on. I was like, I don't see how you didn't know that was going on. You lived there. All of y'all played a part in that young man's demise."

Maintenance workers who were here before and after Javontez's body was found, say there was no indication that anything was going on inside of the home.

"She didn't act like nothing was going on because they were sitting on the porch." A maintenance man said, referring to the morning Javontez was found, before the discovery.

The maintenance man said he returned that afternoon, after Javontez had been found in what authorities describe in a mattress filled with dried urine, feces, and maggots. The maintenance man said, "She [Sabrina] and three women were-- there was a tent right out here. They were out there, looked like they were having fun out there talking and going on. She was just like nothing had went on."

Javontez's father was hospitalized at the time of his death. WCTV is told he'd tried to visit his son in the past, but was not allowed by Robinson. Authorities say the father was current on child support payments.

Investigators say Robinson received Medicaid and assistance from multiple government resources for Javontez, who had a physical medical condition.

Robinson, Butler, and Harris are still in jail and charged with manslaughter and child neglect with great bodily harm.

By: Lanetra Bennett
October 28, 2016

HAVANA, Fla. (WCTV) -- More arrests have been made in the death of 17-year-old Javontez Thomas. The teen's mother's live-in boyfriend and the mother's daughter are now charged.

The Gadsden County Sheriff's Office arrested 57-year-old Micheal Butler and 24-year-old Christina Harris Friday. Both are charged with manslaughter and neglect of a child with great bodily harm.

Javontez's mother, 50-year-old Sabrina Robinson was arrested last week.

Authorities say Javontez was found in his bedroom severely malnourished. He weighed an estimated 45 pounds at the time of his death.

Deputies say the mother, her boyfriend, her daughter, and her son, Javontez, all lived in a mobile home on Salem Lane in Havana. Authorities say Robinson called 911 last week, but Javontez was already dead when first responders arrived. They believe he'd been dead for at least three days.

At the time, Butler and Harris denied knowing that the boy was in his bedroom in the condition he was in.

GCSO Chief Investigator Lieutenant Bobby Collins said, "Both the live-in boyfriend and the sister vividly denied knowing his condition, which we find to be quite impossible when you're living in such quarters. We're talking about a home that is barely 800 square feet in size."

A $225,000 bond has been set for both Harris and Butler.

By: Lanetra Bennett
October 19, 2016

Warning: The details of this story may be disturbing.

HAVANA, Fla. (WCTV) -- Gadsden County investigators say 17-year-old Javontez Thomas had a gruesome death.

"That scene was so horrific," said Sgt. Angie Hightower.

Investigators say Javontez weighed about 45 pounds when he was found dead in his bedroom Monday at 119 Salem Lane in Havana.

"Forty-five pounds. My grandchild weighs more than that, and he is nine. No way. The biggest thing on his body was his head," Sgt. Hightower said.

"Where he laid with that side of his face against a bed, a mattress that was filthy with urine and feces and maggots on it. The skin was rotting," she said.

Thomas' mother, 50-year-old Sabrina Robinson, is charged with his death.

Sgt. Hightower said, "It was not an excuse for anybody to treat any human being in that manner because this child suffered."

A neighbor, Annie Green, said she hadn't seen Javontez in years. She said she assumed he'd left to live with his father. She said, "I'm sitting here right next door and a child in there dying and I had no idea. He hadn't been out the door to play, he never came outside. They kept him inside. It's just horrible."

Sgt. Hightower says Robinson called her boyfriend, he came home from work, and he's the one who called 911. Authorities say Javontez had been dead at least three days by the time they arrived.

"This baby suffered. He did not deserve to be treated like a piece of trash thrown to decompose," said Sgt. Hightower.

Authorities say Robinson's boyfriend and her 24-year-old daughter also lived in the home. Deputies say it's now up to the state attorney's office to review the case and determine if any more charges will be filed.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
October 18, 2016

HAVANA, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Gadsden County Sheriff's Office has arrested a woman for gross neglect in the death of her teenage son.

50-year-old Sabrina Gail Robinson was charged with aggravated child neglect and manslaughter for the death of her 17-year-old son, Javontez Tyrie Thomas.

GCSO deputies responded to 119 Salem Lane in Havana on Monday after paramedics responded to the scene and pronounced Thomas dead.

According to GCSO, Thomas only weighed an estimated 45 pounds at the time of his death. Authorities say Thomas' body had already entered the advanced stages of decomposition when paramedics found him.

Preliminary autopsy reports revealed that Thomas suffered from severe malnutrition and injuries consistent with severe gross neglect, GCSO reports.

Robinson was arrested and booked into the Gadsden County Jail Tuesday.

Photo: Gadsden County Sheriff's Office

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