Austell mother sentenced to 10 years in prison for causing infant son’s death

Lalonie Troup
Lalonie Troup

An Austell mother was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for causing the death of her 4-month-old nearly two years ago.

Lalonie Vanessa Troup, 33, pleaded guilty Aug. 2 to involuntary manslaughter in the death of her infant son, Zion Kingston Troup, the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Troup will serve 10 years and then spend 10 years on probation. She has been in custody since January 2018 and will get credit for time served, DA spokeswoman Kim Isaza said.

Zion Kingston Troup
Zion Kingston Troup

On Dec. 1, 2017, Troup was staying at her mother’s home on Sandtown Green in Marietta. She did not have legal custody of the infant at the time, having lost that right after being arrested on drug charges and continuing to test positive for opiates while being monitored by the Division of Family and Children Services, according to Isaza.

Her mother, Kim Troup, had custody of the child but was not home at the time. Despite being ordered not to have unsupervised contact with the infant, Lalonie Troup took him from his bed in her mother's room and put him in bed with her, placing him face-down surrounded by blankets and pillows, the release said. That led to his death from asphyxiation.

Isaza said Troup had received instructions from DFCS about the proper way a baby should sleep.

“I can’t even believe I’m here watching my daughter. I can’t even fathom,” Kim Troup testified in court Wednesday.

Troup also pleaded guilty to cruelty to children in the second degree, three counts of heroin possession and reckless conduct.

The cruelty charge stemmed from Troup’s heroin use while pregnant, which resulted in the child being born drug addicted at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in July 2017, according to Isaza.

Troup’s mother was awarded custody in November 2017 after Lalonie Troup was found unconscious behind the wheel of her car at The Battery with the child in the backseat, the release said. She was arrested on heroin possession charges, and the infant was placed into protective custody.

“Zion had many people advocating for him from the time of his birth until the time of his death. Safeguards and orders were put in place to keep him safe, but Ms. Troup ignored them,” Assistant DA Katie Gropper said in the release. “This case is every child advocate’s worst nightmare and a heartbreaking example of the trail of destruction a heroin addict can cause.”

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