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2 charged in autistic teen’s death held without bail

April 12, 2021 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts man and his live-in girlfriend, charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of his 14-year-old son who was found severely malnourished in their apartment last October, were held without bail at their Superior Court arraignment Monday.

John Almond, 33, and Jacyln Marie Coleman, 26, pleaded not guilty in the death of David Almond, who had autism.

David was found emaciated, bruised and unresponsive at the couple’s Fall River apartment and was taken to the hospital where he died, according to authorities.

Two other children also lived in the apartment, including one of David’s triplet brothers, and a 3-year-old boy who is John Almond and Coleman’s biologial child.

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Their attorneys in court asked that they be allowed to continue having contact with the youngest boy.

David’s death led to an investigation by the state Office of the Child Advocate which last month released a scathing report that cited a “multi-system failure” involving the state child welfare agency, the city’s school system and the courts that led to the teen’s death.

The Department of Children and Families had removed the children from the home in 2017 but initiated the process to return them in March 2020, according to the report.