17-months-old Brutally Assaulted by Mother in Kentucky, Mother files Change of Venue Appeal in Court

Knoxville, KY: The Kentucky mother who is being charged with killing her 17-month-old daughter asked that her trial be moved because she said that the Knoxville media market, which covers Bell County, Kentucky, has changed public opinion.

Police charged Erica Lawson, 21, after her daughter died at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in July. They said they had never seen such bad child abuse before, mostly because the child was so young.

The family tried to report the abuse to police in early July of last year, but the authorities couldn’t find her after her Uncle reported the abuse to the agencies.

Officials said they have never seen a case of abuse this severe in a child this young. “This is one of the most severe cases of abuse, specifically because the baby was 17 months old,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Lisa Fugate.

The baby’s family remembers her fondly. “She was an angel, and everyone loved her,” said family member Jamie Swanigan. “I don’t know how a monster could do this to a child, especially a baby,” said Swanigan.

Lawson’s lawyers sent the request with social media posts, pictures of signs in Bell County, and other things that showed how people felt about Lawson.

Indictments against Lawson included murder, failing to report child abuse or neglect, first-degree criminal abuse, and first-degree wanton endangering.

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