Former Detroit EMT charged with willful neglect of duty in 2015 infant death case

Ann Marie Thomas accused of refusing to help 8-month-old girl

DETROIT – A former Detroit Fire Department EMT faces a willful neglect of duty charge in connection to the 2015 death of an 8-month-old girl. 

Ann Marie Thomas was fired from DFD after the department said she refused to help the baby May 30, 2015 while she was on duty just minutes away from the home in the 19900 block of Glastonbury. An ambulance eventually got the baby to a hospital. She was revived but died the next morning.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy's released this statement Wednesday:

"It is alleged that Thomas intentionally delayed her response to a dispatch of an 8-month-old infant who was struggling to breath. It is further alleged that Thomas stopped driving her vehicle and parked less than a mile away from the location. Another EMT unit was dispatched to the location," reads a statement from the Prosecutor's Office.

Prosecutors said they were waiting on some evidence from DFD and that they got that evidence in the winter, enabling them to go forward with the case.

Moreover, the infant's mother was charged with homicide and child abuse in this case. The mother, 26-year-old Janee Wright-Trussell, told Local 4 she can't believe she was charged before the EMT. She denies any wrong-doing. 

READ: Mother charged with murder, child abuse in Detroit infant's 2015 death

Thomas appeared for a video arraignment Wednesday morning in 36th District Court. She received a $25,000 personal bond. A pre-trial is scheduled for April 28.

Here is the Local 4 report from June 26, 2015:

DFD: Thomas refused to respond to scene

A supervisor ordered Thomas, a veteran medic, to get to the house where 8-month-old I'Nayah Wright-Trussell was not breathing and her mother was calling for help. Thomas was just around the corner on her pervious run a few streets east. She refused to respond to the scene.

The 8-month-old baby was exactly 9 tenths of a mile away -- a two minute drive at normal speeds -- but Thomas took 6 minutes and then shocked dispatchers by telling them: "33 is in position on Pembroke around the corner from the scene."

"33, I'm going to need you to make that scene," said the Detroit Fire EMS supervisor. "You're going to have to make patient contact."

Thomas parked her unit on a corner a street away from the baby. She and her partner were in a SUV outfitted to be just like an ambulance to help medics get to people faster. But in this case, Thomas refused to go to the house.

911: "Uh, Romeo 33? Updated information that the child is not breathing. The baby was hooked up to an oxygen machine because it was premature. Romeo 33?"

Even with that information, Thomas and her partner didn't move.

911: "Romeo 33, Medic 51, be advised CPR is being performed on your scene. Romeo 33, Medic 51. CPR is being performed by the baby's mother."

Two internal investigations were conducted. The report reads Thomas told her boss, "I'm not about to be on no scene 10 minutes doing CPR, you know how these families get."

READ BACK: Detroit EMT refuses to help baby: Go inside the investigation

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Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.