Parents of teen who died plead not guilty

NORWICH, Conn. (AP/WTNH) — A Norwich couple whose malnourished 14-year-old son died from complications of pneumonia last year have pleaded not guilty to child abuse charges.

Julie L. Carlos and Mark S. Carlos, both 59, pleaded not guilty Friday in Norwich Superior Court to charges of negligent cruelty and risk of injury to a minor. They were released on $150,000 bond.

A message left Friday with their attorney, Bruce B. McIntyre, was not immediately returned.

Police say last May first responders found an unconscious Justin Carlos lying in the driveway with his mother performing CPR. Justin Carlos died at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

A state medical examiner ruled the cause of death was sepsis due to bronchopneumonia complicating malnutrition, and the manner of death was homicide.

The autopsy described the body as “wasting away” and “covered in bedsores.”

Neighbors say Justin and his several siblings were home-schooled and “cut off from the world.” The Connecticut Department of Children and Families removed the other children from the home.

“I was not surprised because I thought the mom was a little … not all there,” Rachel McLaughlin said. “I went to the house, the house was dirty. I did not like her condescending attitude towards me as a parent because I did not homeschool my child.”

The Norwich couple is due back in court June 27.

News 8’s AJ Walker contributed to this report.

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