Shanda Vander ark trial Son obituary and dead, Paul Ferguson Timothy Ferguson

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Shanda Vander Ark is on trial in Muskegon County for the starvation death of her 15-year-old son. Vander Ark is charged with open murder and first-degree child abuse.

Her son, Timothy Ferguson, who prosecutors said had “some type of mental incapacity or handicap” was found dead in her family’s Norton Shores home in July 2022. He weighed only 31 kilos. An autopsy determined that he died of dehydration and extreme wasting due to malnutrition and starvation. The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.

According to prosecutors, Vander Ark denied Timothy food, gave him only bread or bread dipped in hot sauce, poured hot sauce down his throat and put him in an ice bath the day before his death, which is believed which was the cause of hypothermia. She also forced him to sleep in a closet with an alarm on the door.

A deputy prosecutor previously said Vander Ark chose to torture the boy. Opening statements are expected to be Wednesday and the trial is expected to last all week.

If she is convicted, Vander Ark faces life in prison. Vander Ark has a 21-year-old son who is also charged with first-degree child abuse in the case. The trial date is pending.

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