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November 14, 2019

Swain DSS Worker Sentenced in Toddler Death Case

A former Swain County DSS supervisor has pleaded guilty in a case relating to the death of a Cherokee toddler six years ago.

Aubrey Littlejohn died while in the foster home of her great-aunt, Ladybird Powell. Powell  is currently in prison for involuntary manslaughter and child abuse relating to the child’s death.

An investigation found Candice Lassiter ordered the falsification of records to obstruct a probe into Littlejohn’s death.  As a result of an investigation into a possible cover-up in the case, Swain County DSS offices were raided  in February 2011  and records were seized.

Lassiter pleaded guilty to felony forgery charges Monday. Her six- to eight-month sentence was suspended. She’ll spend two years on unsupervised probation. Lassiter must also serve 48 hours of community service and pay more than $3,600 in court costs.

About a year and a half ago, former Swain DSS worker Craig Smith pleaded guilty on a forgery charge and was sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation and fined $1,000.

About The Author

Andy has worked in broadcasting around Western North Carolina over the last 17 years. He serves as the Operations Manager and Program Director for WRGC and WBHN. “I’ve been with the crew here at Five Forty Broadcasting since the idea of bringing the station back to Jackson County at 540-AM. I feel a personal connection with community radio and the area”. In the past, Andy has worked with iHeart Media and Sky Country Broadcasting. He resides in Haywood County.

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