AZ - Sanaa Cunningham, 7, abused before death, Maricopa County, 12 Feb 2017 *Arrests**

Discussion in 'Crimes-Spotlight on Children' started by Niner, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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    DCS investigated parents of Sanaa Cunningham 3 times before 7-year-old's death

    Dec. 12, 2017

    "Arizona's Department of Child Safety officials investigated three reports of abuse or neglect against Sanaa Cunningham before her February death, but none produced enough evidence to remove the 7-year-old girl from her home, according to the DCS.

    DCS on Tuesday released a mediastatement detailing the allegations in each report and results of the subsequent investigations...

    Details of the DCS reports

    Quoting results from the autopsy, the statement said Sanaa's body showed complications of sepsis in the setting of acute bronchitis with bronchiolitis and early bronchopneumonia, a right foot abscess and multiple skin ulcerations. It was also noted in the autopsy that the child suffered from an unspecified schizophrenia spectrum disorder...

    Goodyear detectives who attended the autopsy noted "extensive scarring, marks, scrapes, scratches, bruises and open wounds ... found on every plane of (the) victim's body." ...

    Prosecutors allege in court documents that Sanaa was subjected to “forcible work” in the backyard during the summer, was tied with a RIPP restraint (a device that restricts movement), and at various times confined to the garage, laundry room or patio “with trash.”..."

    DCS investigated parents of Sanaa Cunningham 3 times before 7-year-old's death
     
  2. dalsglen

    dalsglen Well-Known Member

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    Age needs fixed in title @Niner.

    God this is horrific. I'm not sure I want to read anymore
     
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  3. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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    Update:

    'I'm doing ok': Adelaide mum accused of daughter's murder in Arizona fronts court (with clip)

    Dec 14, 2018

    "Lisa Cunningham, the Australian mother facing the death penalty in the US, made a brief appearance in court this morning.

    Mrs Cunningham and her husband, former police detective Germayne, appeared in a three-minute hearing in the Maricopa Superior Court in Arizona today.

    Both are accused of the abuse and murder of Mr Cunningham’s daughter Sanaa in February last year...

    Prosecutors agreed to hand over a phone seized as evidence to defence in the proceeding....

    Sanaa was Germayne's biological daughter, Lisa Cunningham’s step-daughter. The little girl died in February 2017, suffering a head injury, an open wound on her foot and a sepsis infection.

    The prosecution also alleges Sanaa, a diagnosed schizophrenic, had injuries to her wrists consistent with being tied up using zip-ties.

    The alleged crime, committed in Arizona, carries the death penalty...."

    Aussie mum accused of daughter's murder in Arizona fronts court
     
  4. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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    Lisa:
    Case Activity
    Date Description Party
    7/20/2020 Trial P 1
    7/20/2020 Trial D 2
    7/20/2020 Trial D 4

    6/18/2020 Pre-Trial Conference D 4
    6/18/2020 Pre-Trial Conference D 2
    6/18/2020 Pre-Trial Conference P 1

    2/28/2019 Complex / Capital Case P 1
    2/28/2019 Complex / Capital Case D 4
    2/28/2019 Complex / Capital Case D 2

    12/14/2018 085 - ME: Conference D 2
    12/14/2018 085 - ME: Conference

    link: Public Access Case Lookup


    Germayne:
    Case Activity
    Date Description Party
    7/20/2020 Trial P 1
    7/20/2020 Trial D 2
    7/20/2020 Trial D 4

    6/18/2020 Pre-Trial Conference D 4
    6/18/2020 Pre-Trial Conference D 2
    6/18/2020 Pre-Trial Conference P 1

    2/28/2019 Complex / Capital Case P 1
    2/28/2019 Complex / Capital Case D 4
    2/28/2019 Complex / Capital Case D 2

    12/14/2018 085 - ME: Conference D 2
    12/14/2018 085 - ME: Conference

    link: Public Access Case Lookup
     
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  5. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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    The Death of Sanaa Cunningham: Murder or Medical Tragedy?

    NOVEMBER 25, 2018

    "EDITOR’S NOTE: Most of what we know about Sanaa Cunningham’s life and death comes from the autopsy; new courtroom testimony of the lead criminal investigator, Goodyear Detective Noah Yeo; evidence presented in court; other court records; and texts from the phone of her stepmother, Lisa Cunningham. Interviews with people close to the families support claims of both prosecution and defense. Phoenix New Times is withholding the names of Sanaa’s minor siblings and half-siblings to protect their privacy.

    On Friday, February 10, 2017, Germayne and Lisa Cunningham found 7-year-old Sanaa draped over the side of her playpen at their Goodyear home. She couldn’t open her eyes. Her body was limp and unresponsive. She drooled....

    The charges against Lisa Cunningham also have gripped the media and the public in her native Australia. The last time the U.S. executed a compatriot was during the California Gold Rush.

    Australian media interest in the case spiked after a routine detention hearing last month. It turned into a mini-trial and sent the Cunninghams to jail, facing the death penalty.

    The hearing previewed the diametric versions of events that a jury could hear when the real trial starts.

    Currently, that is set for July 2020....

    Three times DCS agents visited the house in the last, troubled year of Sanaa’s life. A Goodyear police officer was there two months before she died. None of them reported signs of abuse in time to save her life...."

    The Death of Sanaa Cunningham: Murder or Medical Tragedy?
     
  6. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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    RAW VIDEO: Germayne Cunningham's court appearance

    Jan 2, 2018

    "The former Phoenix police detective who was indicted on 10 counts of child abuse and one count of first-degree murder in the death of his 7-year-old daughter appeared in court Tuesday. This is video of the entire hearing for Germayne Cunningham. Full story @ https://goo.gl/7RxoQz. (Jan. 2, 2018)"
     
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  7. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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    Yes - I just noticed I put 3 years - I have just reported it to a Mod to please fix it. I can't... :(
     
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  8. Penny Parker

    Penny Parker Well-Known Member

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    Such a disturbing case. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. And thanks for all the other cases you provide info on.
     
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  9. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    I'm adding the YTubes and pics that I posted on the SB:

     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
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  10. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    DCS received 3 abuse reports before Sanaa Cunningham's death

    Dec 12, 2017


    ---

    [​IMG]

    (The murder charges against Australian native Lisa Cunningham and her husband have been a big story Down Under.Screenshot from The Advertise)
    --

    [​IMG]

    (Sanaa Cunningham, who died at age 7/ Courtesy of Sylvia Norwood)
    ---

    [​IMG]

    (Prosecutors allege the Cunninghams restrained Sanaa with plastic ties, a makeshift straight jacket and shackles, forced her to wear diapers and locked her in a laundry room or outside. [Supplied])
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
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  11. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    Former Adelaide woman facing death penalty in US to try and secure public funding for defence

    December 13, 2018

    "Lawyers for a former Adelaide woman who faces the death penalty in the US state of Arizona over her stepdaughter's death will meet with the consulate today to try and secure public funding for her defence....

    The Maricopa County Court was told the disclosure of key evidence was still ongoing between the prosecution and defence, but lawyers for Ms Cunningham wanted to hire their own expert to forensically examine her mobile phone.

    Outside court, her lawyer Eric Kessler told media that his client, and her co-accused and husband, former police detective Germayne Cunningham, were "doing pretty well" and were settling into to jail while they awaited trial for 11 charges, including first degree murder and child abuse.

    "We were able today to successfully get an order from the court that would direct the medical examiner to give us certain slides from the autopsy, which would certainly help the defence pathologist help determine what the true cause of death was," he said....

    He said he was hopeful that information from the autopsy and phone would shed some light on the case.

    "We're still trying to get clarification exactly what they did according to the Government that constitutes the child abuse that is at issue with respect to the homicide charge," Mr Kessler said....

    When asked if Ms Cunningham had already been provided with any public money to foot her legal bills, Mr Kessler said that would be discussed in meetings today.

    Ms Cunningham will be back before the court in February while her trial is expected to be heard in July 2020...."

    Former Adelaide woman facing death penalty in US to try and secure public funding for defence
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    'They're excellent parents': Australian woman facing death penalty in US over death of stepdaughter

    1 Oct 2018

    "An Australian woman facing the death penalty in the US over the death of her stepdaughter was let down by the health system, the woman's lawyer claims....

    In an exclusive interview with 7.30, Ms Cunningham's lawyer Eric Kessler said the couple had tried their best with Sanaa but were overwhelmed by her mental illnesses.

    "Sanaa presented with very difficult medical, emotional and psychiatric issues. They sought professional care in all of those fields. Even when they had limited funds, they nonetheless continued to find a solution for Sanaa," Mr Kessler said.

    Mr Kessler said the family had been let down by the system.

    "If even one medical professional or mental health professional had properly diagnosed this child and given appropriate instructions to Lisa and Germayne to deal with Sanaa's true problems, then I don't believe we would have a deceased child," he said....

    "Lisa loved Sanaa as though Sanaa was her own," Mr Kessler said.

    "I can see from their other children who are well-adjusted and healthy ... so I take from that that they're excellent parents."...

    Prosecutors paint a very different picture of the Cunninghams....

    'Prosecutors said the defence is a pack of lies'...

    "They have said the Cunninghams have tried to manipulate the record and manipulate the diagnoses. They went doctor shopping, is the term that they used in court."...

    Ms Cunningham's lawyers are seeking help from the Australian Government to defend the case with financial aid, which has been given to other citizens facing serious charges abroad.

    "The Australian Government has not been terribly receptive," Mr Kessler said.

    "We're in the process of trying to schedule meetings with the Australian Government so at this point I can't criticise their efforts."..."

    Australian woman facing death penalty in US over stepdaughter's death an 'excellent parent'

    [​IMG]

    (PHOTO: Lisa Cunningham's lawyer, Eric Kessler. [ABC News])
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    'I really and truly believe she is innocent. She was too nice a girl': Family in disbelief as Australian woman could face execution in the United States after being accused of murder and abuse of her stepdaughter

    8 September 2018

    "...Family of Mrs Cunningham claim the former Adelaide woman is innocent, the Sunday Mail reported.

    'What I know I could not honestly see her doing something like that. I really and truly believe she is innocent. She was too nice a girl,' said cousin Julie.

    Mrs Cunningham's uncle, Rob Topsfield, 70, said the Americans had got it wrong about his niece who 'wouldn't hurt a fly'.

    'I'm really angry with the American judicial system at the moment,' he said.

    Mr Topsfield is disappointed that he can't fly over to support his niece as he is undergoing cancer treatment.

    He claims Mrs Cunningham is a compassionate person who cared for her two older brothers when her mother experienced mental health struggles.

    Mr Topsfield said Mrs Cunningham had tragedy in her life as her grandmother and mother died within a short period of time when she last visited Australia.

    Mrs Cunningham was born in Adelaide, before moving around the country and living in Far North Queensland.

    She moved to the United States in the late 1980s as a teenager and then met her first husband.

    Two weeks before she pleaded not guilty, Mrs Cunningham tried to commit suicide, according to the Sunday Mail.
    The case could create diplomatic disharmony as the Australian Government is opposed to the death penalty.

    If convicted and sentenced to death, she would be the first Australian woman to face the death penalty in the United States. ...
    The Australian had lived in the US for 20 years and is eligible for $500,000 in funds from the Attorney-General - which provides support to Australians facing the death penalty overseas. "

    Family in disbelief as Australian woman faces execution in the US after being accused of murder | Daily Mail Online

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  12. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    Mother demands answers in death of 7-year-old daughter (with clips)

    "GOODYEAR, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -
    Sylvia Norwood remembers her 7-year-old daughter as a bright little girl who loved to have fun with her older sister.

    "She was just a child that you would want around and want around to wake up to her beautiful smile," said Norwood....
    Norwood last saw her daughter in December 2015 and she claims at that time she was just fine with no signs of abuse or neglect.

    "Things just began to change over the last couple of years and to be honest, I want to know what happened," said Norwood.

    The mother claims her ex-husband started to deny her visitation or would only let the older child they had in common go visit her.

    "When the visits started slowing down, I’m asking questions. I want to know why I am not getting my visitations and children, and I got no response," said Norwood.

    Norwood understands that Sanaa being kept from seeing her could have triggered some emotional changes and acting out but she is not buying the severe list of mental illnesses with which her daughter was allegedly diagnosed.

    Goodyear police also did not buy the story about the severe mental illness and self-hurting..."

    Mother demands answers in death of 7-year-old daughter
    ---

    Indictment:

    9944ca6e-9704-4605-9844-2d8a8eee8ef0.pdf
    ---

    [​IMG]

    (Sylvia Norwood remembers her 7-year-old daughter who had a bright smile. [Source: 3TV/CBS 5])
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Aussie death penalty mum’s texts could be critical

    11th Sep 2018

    "TEXT messages sent by an Australian mother-of-four charged with the alleged murder of her mentally ill stepdaughter in the US will play a crucial role at trial, it has emerged.

    Adelaide-born Lisa Cunningham, 43, and her detective-turned-prison guard husband Germayne Cunningham, 38, face the death penalty following their indictment for the abuse, neglect and murder of seven-year-old Sanaa Cunningham in February 2017....
    The text messages are described as "critical to criminal and medical findings" and are expected to play a key role in the Cunninghams' impending trial....

    They say the couple treated a bone-deep wound on Sanaa's foot that turned septic, with Neosporin (an antibiotic cream) and gauze instead of taking her to the hospital.

    Medical and post mortem examination records tendered to court show Sanaa had myriad mental health conditions including schizophrenia, mood disorders, and other issues that caused her to urinate and defecate uncontrollably.

    She was also diagnosed with pica, a psychological disorder that saw her eat dirt and dolls' hair...

    Cierra Anderson, Ms Cunningham's daughter by her first marriage, defended her mother and stepfather in an interview with The Australian at the weekend.

    Sanaa was "completely normal until she turned six," Ms Anderson said.

    "That was when the decline started, and we all had to watch it. She would become catatonic, or else she'd throw things, try to hurt us. She'd scream, and my parents would sit up and cry all night with her."

    Ms Anderson says her mother took Sanaa to multiple doctors to try and establish what was wrong with the child.

    "At first she was diagnosed with ADHD, and the answer was: change her diet," she told The Australian.

    "But our family eats a predominantly plant-based diet. So then came autism spectrum disorder, and Mum is like, 'OK, I want a second opinion.' Then came all the other disorders: pica (eating dirt and hair) and oppositional defiance disorder, depression, bipolar, the whole range of mental illnesses. She tried to kill our dog once with a river rock.

    "But the worst part was, she would try to hurt herself."..."

    Aussie death penalty mum’s texts could be critical

    [​IMG]
    (Cierra Anderson, Lisa’s 21-year-old daughter from her marriage to US serviceman Russell Anderson. Picture: Supplied)
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  13. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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  14. AmandaSkis

    AmandaSkis Well-Known Member

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    Ugh, such lies told by the stepmom and biodad. I believe that all of the behaviors and problems exhibited by this poor child were a result of the severe abuse she was subjected to.
     
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  15. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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    Thursday, February 28th:
    *Complex/Capital Case Hearing for both – AZ – Sanaa Cunningham (7) (Feb. 12, 2017, Goodyear) - *Germayne Cunningham (39) “father” indicted (12/1/17) & arraigned (1/2/18) with 1st degree murder & 10 counts of child abuse. Plead not guilty. Held without bond. DA will seek DP.
    *Lois Cunningham (44) “step mom” – indicted (12/1/17) & arraigned (1/2/18) with 1st degree murder & 10 counts of child abuse. Plead not guilty. Held without bond. DA will seek DP.
    12/14/18: Complex/Capital case hearing 2/28, Final Pretrial Conference hearing on 6/28/20, trial starts 7/20/20.
     
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  16. YESorNO

    YESorNO The Queen (aka "mrsmuir") SWBB

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    Jailhouse Interview: Ex-Prison Guard Speaks Out on Charge of Murdering Stepdaughter

    FEBRUARY 21, 2019

    "Lisa Cunningham once stood guard over women convicts. Now the Australian-born woman, who is charged with murdering her stepdaughter in Goodyear, rubs shoulders with the accused during the one hour a day she’s not locked in her segregated cell. She’s had time to rethink the nature of crime and punishment and who administers it.

    “I’m housed with people that have similar crimes to me. And I’ll tell you, this is probably the least judgmental environment I’ve even been in,” Cunningham said by phone from Estrella Jail, breaking her silence in a series of jailhouse interviews....

    She described her confinement as “hard time” in “a hard place,” and said that fighting multiple legal campaigns to clear her name, get her kids back, and hold others accountable for Sanaa’s death has been “terrifying” and left her “gutted.”...."

    Jailhouse Interview: Ex-Prison Guard Speaks Out on Charge of Murdering Stepdaughter
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Former Adelaide woman facing death penalty in US forced to hand prosecutors her DNA


    2/28/19

    "An Australian woman has been ordered by a US court to hand over her DNA to prosecutors who allege she murdered her young stepdaughter.

    Former Adelaide resident Lisa Cunningham faces the death penalty in Phoenix, Arizona, after being charged with the first-degree murder and neglect of seven-year-old stepdaughter Sanaa, who died in February, 2017.

    The 44-year-old's husband, Germayne Cunningham — a former police detective and the father of Sanaa — is also charged with her murder.

    The couple have pleaded not guilty to all 11 charges.

    Overnight, they appeared in the Maricopa County Court, which ordered the couple provide prosecutors with DNA, despite their objection to the application....

    Judge Michael Kemp said he had reviewed the submissions on the application for the DNA evidence.

    "I am going to grant the motion to take the sample," Judge Kemp said.

    He confirmed the 2020 trial date before setting another trial management conference for May...."

    Australian woman facing death penalty in the US must hand over her DNA, court orders

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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  18. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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    Monday, May 20th:
    *Complex/Capital Case Hearing for both – AZ – Sanaa Cunningham (7) (Feb. 12, 2017, Goodyear) - *Germayne Cunningham (39) “father” indicted (12/1/17) & arraigned (1/2/18) with 1st degree murder & 10 counts of child abuse. Plead not guilty. Held without bond. DA will seek DP.
    *Lisa Cunningham (44) “step mom” – indicted (12/1/17) & arraigned (1/2/18) with 1st degree murder & 10 counts of child abuse. Plead not guilty. Held without bond. DA will seek DP.
    12/14/18: Complex/Capital case hearing 2/28, Final Pretrial Conference hearing on 6/28/20, trial starts 7/20/20.
    2/28/19 Update: The Court ordered the couple provide prosecutors with DNA, despite their objection to the application. Trial management hearing on 5/20.
     
  19. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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  20. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

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    confronting text messages that led police to charge Aussie mum with stepdaughter's murder | Daily Mail Online

    An Australian mother, who could face the death penalty in the US if convicted of stepdaughter's murder, was charged after police found a series of text messages sent to her husband.
    [.....]
    Text messages between Cunningham and her husband, given to an Arizona appeals court, reveal the couple had become overwhelmed caring for Sanaa's condition,....
    [.....]
    The couple appeared in Maricopa County Superior Court last week for a pre-trial hearing, over one-year before their criminal trial is due to start in July 2020.
    [.....]
    The couple are attempting to dismiss their murder trial through appeal which would either lead to their release or send the case to another jury for a review.

    They are arguing the jury were mislead by prosecutors with fake evidence, the judge made an error by excusing the misinformation and the 11 felony charges were worded vaguely and made a case for the defence impossible.



    bunch of texts sent to each other in the article....
     
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