EMT gets 3 months in jail for neglect in baby's death
Ann Marie Thomas was sentenced after delaying response when dispatchers put out a call for help for a dying baby, despite being less than a mile away
DETROIT — A former emergency medical technician convicted of delaying a response to a Detroit home where an 8-month-old girl was having trouble breathing and later died told a judge she was "innocent."
Ann Marie Thomas was sentenced Thursday to three months in jail and two years' probation for neglect of duty.
"I can't believe I'm sitting here today facing these charges," Thomas told Judge Roberta Archer before she learned of the sentence. "I did nothing wrong your honor. I did my job."
A jury convicted Thomas, 48, in February.
Prosecutors have said Thomas was parked less than a mile from the home where I'Nayah Wright-Trussell was, but delayed getting there when dispatchers put out a call for help in May 2015. Another EMT eventually was sent to help the child.
The girl's family alleged in a lawsuit that Thomas told dispatch she didn't want to be there for "10 minutes doing CPR, you know how these families get."
Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Matthew Penney told the judge Thursday that paramedics eventually revived I'Nayah, "but sadly that baby passed away the next day."
"I didn't realize Ann Marie Thomas was the victim in this case," Penney added, referring to Thomas' protestations to Archer. "Her entire function was to get there lickity-split."
"When we entrust EMS workers — individuals who have certain obligations to respond to emergency situations — we have an expectation that they are going to act in accordance with what they need to do to get there," Archer said. "This situation became very real with the death of this child."
A medical examiner ruled the child's death a homicide with suffocation as the cause of death. Other injuries and bruises were found.
Her mother, Janee Wright-Trussell, pleaded guilty last year to voluntary manslaughter. She was sentenced to 8 to 15 years in prison.