Ohio mom sentenced for death of 4-year-old diabetic daughter who was mostly fed baby formula mixed with Mountain Dew

An Ohio mother whose 4-year-old diabetic daughter died after being fed a diet that consisted mainly of Mountain Dew was sentenced on Friday to at least nine years in prison for the girl’s death.

Tamara Banks pled guilty to manslaughter in March for the death of her daughter, Karmity Hoeb, who died in 2022 of a diabetes-related brain injury. Banks, 41, often gave the girl bottles of baby formula mixed with the neon-green sugary soda, according to prosecutors, long after she should have been weaned off bottles.

Karmity died at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, just west of her Clermont County home, as a result of diabetic ketoacidosis, the Cincinnati Inquirer reported.

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Tamara Banks was sentenced to nine years in prison — and could serve up to 13 and a half — in the manslaughter death of her four-year-old daughter, Karmity Hoeb. Quinlan Bentley/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

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Karmity Hoeb was 4 years old when she died of a tragic brain injury linked to diabetes. E.C. Nurre Funeral Home

The tot was showing signs of a “serious medical issue” for days but her mom didn’t call 911 until she turned blue and stopped breathing, the outlet reported. Scans later showed the girl was brain dead, prosecutors said.

Karmity suffered neglect and abuse for most of her short life and was denied proper nutrition and medical care, prosecutors also charged. There was no evidence she had ever been taken to a dentist, they found, and the girl’s teeth had all rotted away by the time of her death.

A 20-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew contains 77 grams of sugar. Experts say kids should have less than 24 grams per day.

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Tamara Banks said in court that she “thought [she] was taking care of” 4-year-old Karmity Hoeb. Clermont County Sheriff's Office

“This is one of the most tragic cases I have ever encountered,” Clermont County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Clay Tharp said. “This child did not have to die.”

Karmity, who was nicknamed “Boogie” because of her silly personality, was remembered as a smart and vibrant little girl, according to an obituary. “She knew how beautiful and special she was … The camera loved her almost as much as she loved smiling real big and saying cheese.”

“Each day she woke up full of joy and love,” it continued.

us news, child abuse, crime, manslaughter, negligence, ohio, soda, ohio mom sentenced for death of 4-year-old diabetic daughter who was mostly fed baby formula mixed with mountain dew
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Four-year-old Karmity Hoeb was remembered as a “beautiful and special” little girl who was “always full of joy and love.” E.C. Nurre Funeral Home

Banks had a son who fell into a coma at 4 years old as a result of undiagnosed diabetes, prosecutors noted. Clermont County Common Pleas Judge Victor Haddad said his condition should have taught her about the dangers of diabetes before her daughter’s tragic death, the Inquirer reported.

“It’s hard to be a good parent, but you expect at least mediocre parents,” Haddad said at Friday’s hearing. “Not knowing what to do is not an excuse.”

“I thought I was taking care of her,” Banks, who was photographed in court in a wheelchair, said on Friday.

us news, child abuse, crime, manslaughter, negligence, ohio, soda, ohio mom sentenced for death of 4-year-old diabetic daughter who was mostly fed baby formula mixed with mountain dew
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Christopher Hoeb also pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of his daughter Karmity Hoeb. E.C. Nurre Funeral Home

us news, child abuse, crime, manslaughter, negligence, ohio, soda, ohio mom sentenced for death of 4-year-old diabetic daughter who was mostly fed baby formula mixed with mountain dew
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Christopher Hoeb will be sentenced in June. Clermont County Sheriff's Office

Despite her children’s suffering, Banks regularly refilled her own prescriptions and even had doctors make house calls for her medical needs, prosecutors found.

She could face up to 13 and a half years in prison.

Karmity’s father, Christopher Hoeb, 53, also pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He will be sentenced in June.

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