The parents of a 17-month-old boy who died in January from complications from pneumonia will stand trial in Cambria County Court on charges of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.

Kenya Martin, 37, and Shawn Leverette, 34, entered not-guilty pleas prior to their preliminary hearing before District Judge Michael Musulin.

Musulin bound over both charges against the parents at the end of the three-hour proceeding.

The couple’s son, Tijhuan Leverette, was born in a persistent vegetative state and was kept alive with a ventilator. He lived at his parents’ former Vine Street home, and was rushed twice to UPMC Lee Regional’s emergency room on the day of his death.

The first time, he was taken home against medical advice after his mother signed him out of the hospital. Authorities said that the cause of death was lack of oxygen due to broncho-pneumonia.

At the preliminary hearing, Dr. Harold Ashcraft, a pathologist who conducted the autopsy, testified that the pneumonia could have been treated.

Witnesses also testified that the infant had been off the ventilator for 61 minutes at his home prior to his being rushed back to the hospital the second time on Jan. 22. The ventilator was turned back on by a medic who responded to the 911 call.

The mother had told authorities that she thought something was wrong with the ventilator, so attempts were made to keep her son breathing by the manual operation of a breathing device.

Martin, who has six other children, is free on $50,000 unsecured bond. She now is living at the Oakhurst Homes. She is represented by Lisa Lazzari and David Raho, public defenders.

The father, who said that he doesn’t have a permanent address, is in the county jail in lieu of $65,000 bond. He is represented by John Kasaback of Johnstown and Thomas Leiden of Patton, court-appointed attorneys.

The prosecution is being handled by Patrick Kiniry and Michael Carbonara, both assistant district attorneys.

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