LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The family of the woman accused of killing her 6-year-old nephew is blaming the child's doctors for his death. News 10 has covered the investigation since Christopher Pratt was found dead in his aunt's home in August of 2018.
His aunt, Jessica Bice is charged with open murder in the case. Pratt was diagnosed at birth a rare genetic disease and could not walk unassisted. They say that had more to do with his death than the cause determined by the medical examiner, which was blunt force trauma and caregiver neglect.
The families of Christopher Pratt and Jessica Bice sat on opposite sides of the courtroom Thursday.
The little boy's family blame Bice for his death but Bice's aunt Sharifah Al-Shalal feels like her side hasn't been heard.
Al-Shalal says Christopher's pre-existing conditions may have played a role.
"She definitely is not guilty of murder by any means. this was not a murder,” said Al-Shalal. If anybody's responsible it would be the state early on, his doctor at MSU clinical center. I helped with Christopher's care and the only diagnostic that they ever gave me was failure to thrive."
Al- Shalal says both families want the same thing-justice for Christopher. There have been no plea deals offered at this time. The prosecutor expects trial to start in the spring. Jessica Bice is being held without bond in the Ingham County Jail. We'll keep you updated on the case.
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