Mother sentenced in 2015 infant death case where Detroit EMT refused to respond

Mother sentenced to 8 to 15 years; EMT jury trial set for Feb.

Janee Wright-Trussell at her sentencing hearing in Detroit on Wednesday, November 15, 2017. (WDIV)
Janee Wright-Trussell at her sentencing hearing in Detroit on Wednesday, November 15, 2017. (WDIV)

DETROIT – A Detroit mother was sentenced Wednesday in the death of her 8-month-old daughter as a defiant EMT awaits trial for willful neglect of duty.

Janee Wright-Trussell was originally charged with first-degree murder, felony murder and three counts of first-degree child abuse. Those charges were dismissed under a plea deal and Wright-Trussell pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and one count of first-degree child abuse. She was sentenced to 8 to 15 years in prison.

I'Nayah Wright-Trussel was on an oxygen machine due to complications from a premature birth and stopped breathing May 30, 2015, at her home on Glastonbury Road. 

The Wayne County Medical Examiner ruled the baby's death a homicide and the cause of death as suffocation. Multiple rib fractures were found in various stages of healing, as well as bruises on the child's bowels, liver, spleen and both lungs.

The mother called 911 calling for help but an emergency crew refused to immediately respond to the scene.

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

Thomas has a jury trial scheduled for February. 

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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