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NC Supreme Court upholds murder charge in child abuse case

Malachi Golden died in May 2015 weighing 19 pounds, roughly half the weight of an average boy his age.
Credit: Adobe Stock Images

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s decision finding a man guilty of first-degree murder by starvation and neglect of his 4-year-old stepson.

Malachi Golden died in May 2015 weighing 19 pounds, roughly half the weight of an average boy his age.

The justices noted in their opinion that Malachi had been prescribed an anti-seizure medication that was effective in treating spasms that he began experiencing when he was 4 months old. 

Thomas Allen Cheeks was accused of not providing the child with medical treatment for over a year. He was the primary caretaker and provided up to 80% of the child’s care.

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