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Mother indicted on murder charge in toddler's drowning

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An Augusta woman whose 2-year-old son drowned after he wandered outside unattended was indicted on a charge of murder Tuesday.

A Richmond County grand jury issued the indictment against Lisa Stocker. Her son Daniel I. Stocker was found at the bottom of an unused swimming pool in the family’s backyard in the 3800 block of Creighton Place on March 21.

The murder charge is based on an underlying allegation that Stocker committed cruelty to children in the second degree by neglecting the toddler. According to the indictment, Stocker took medication that rendered her unconscious and unable to stop Daniel from leaving the home that morning.

Stocker was initially charged with involuntary manslaughter.

At the time Stocker admitted to investigators that she was asleep “and not attending to the needs of her youngest child.” The child’s father was out of town on business.

She said she became aware of Daniel’s disappearance only after a neighbor alerted her to the family’s dogs running loose in the neighborhood, sheriff’s investigators said.

When the child was first reported missing, about 30 deputies combed the Co­v­ing­ton subdivision off Old Waynes­boro Road looking for him. Police said surveillance video from a neighbor’s home showed the child outside and unattended earlier that morning.

Witnesses in the neighborhood also told deputies they had seen the child in the yard unattended.

After searches in the neighborhood failed, the fire department and dive team were called to search a pool in the backyard of the child’s home and a pool down the street.

The murky, debris-filled conditions of the pool in the toddler’s backyard complicated matters, authorities said.

Crews removed much of the water from the pool before divers were sent back to search through the remaining water and debris. Divers found the child’s body about 12:30 p.m.

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catawba7 12/06/12 - 01:00 pm
Thank God , they put a child first

I agree with this charge. It is so sad to see children neglected due to bad parenting. Maybe this charge will send a message to other parents to be responsible.

allhans 12/06/12 - 03:13 pm
It is past time for harsh

It is past time for harsh punishment to be given to those who abuse and neglect defenseless children. Too many times the parent/caretaker get away with a slap on the wrist and on they go.

Young Fred
Young Fred 12/07/12 - 09:36 am
I agree with grouse

on this one.

While I do believe the mother should rot in a jail cell, I thought "murder" implied intent.

gmcneese 12/20/12 - 06:17 am

Lisa is a victim of her own childhood. Negligent probably. Murderer no. I hate it when people are so quick to judge someone by what the media says and an awful mugshot. Lisa is a grieving human being. She lost a child. Have mercy. It could happen to anyone.

no.such.girl 03/15/14 - 10:51 pm
(This may be cross-posted. I

(This may be cross-posted. I haven't decided yet).

Maybe I should not be here. I am compounding the problem and I'm not sure that my words will be in any way adequate here. But here it is.

Some of you have expressed concern for the well-being of the other two children. They are cared for. They are loved. The details are none of your business.

They also have internet access. And they will wonder what people are saying. I can check their History, but hey, I can't unsee this stuff for them.

You profess to care for these two? Shut up. Period.

They are having a hard enough time adjusting to life without their brother, without their mother. They're good kids. They're really good kids. They can no longer attend public schools. They cannot safely "ego-surf" without finding comments in which totally uninvolved (and let's face it, frankly ignorant) people wishing a horrible death for their mother.

Whatever the circumstances (which, again, you are frankly ignorant of) the boys absolutely do not deserve this sort of attention. They are at that vulnerable age in which they're trying to figure out who they are at the most basic levels.

I pray every day that they know they are not just Daniel's brothers or Lisa's children. They deserve better. You can help ensure they get it.

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