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Doctor pleads no contest in death of malnourished Ohio teen, gives up medical license

The doctor of a 14-year-old girl who had cerebral palsy and weighed just 28 pounds when she died has re-entered no contest pleas to charges of failing to report child abuse or neglect and agreed to give up her medical license.

Earlier this year, Margaret Edwards pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor counts of failure to report child abuse or neglect of a functionally impaired person in the death of Makayla Norman of Dayton. A Montgomery County Juvenile Court judge found Edwards, 51, of the Dayton suburb of Trotwood, guilty in April of all three charges. But the doctor withdrew her plea the next month and got a new attorney.

She re-entered her pleas Monday and could face up to 18 months in prison at her Aug. 6 sentencing, county prosecutor's spokesman Greg Flannagan said Tuesday.

A message left for Edwards' attorney, Todd Long, was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Edwards was the last of five people, including Makayla's mother and three nurses, to be prosecuted in connection with the girl's death

Authorities say Makayla had numerous bed sores and showed other signs of neglect when she died March 1, 2011. Edwards was her doctor from July 2010 until the girl's death. The teen died from nutritional and medical neglect complicated by her chronic condition and was the "worst malnourished child this office has ever seen," Ken Betz, office director of the Montgomery County Coroner's Office, said at the time.

Makayla's mother, Angela Norman, pleaded guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter and other charges and was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Montgomery County prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. has said the home was vile and filthy and that the mother didn't provide sufficient food or care for the girl. A nurse whose job was to administer care to Makayla at her home also pleaded guilty to charges including involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Two other nurses, who were to supervise the teen's care, were convicted of failing to provide for a functionally impaired child.

Heck said Tuesday that Edwards, as a medical doctor, is required by law to report abuse or neglect.

"This defendant utterly ignored her responsibilities and failed to report the obvious signs of neglect of Makayla," he said.

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