BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – An arrest warrant has been issued for a Burke County swimming instructor.
According to District Attorney Jared T. Williams, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been instructed to issue an arrest warrant for Lexie Tenhuisen for the charge of Involuntary Manslaughter.
Williams states that after months of dedicated inquiry, investigation, and legal analysis, it was concluded that a criminal offense has occurred in the death of Israel Scott.
This is the full statement from the District Attorney’s Office:
Izzy Scott is not a case. He is not a file on a desk, nor an article in the news. He is a child whose loss has broken the heart of our community. He is a symbol of how we should cherish our little ones and hold them tight.
After months of dedicated inquiry, investigation, and legal analysis, we conclude that a criminal offense has occurred in the death of Israel Scott. I have instructed the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to issue an arrest warrant for Lexie Tenhuisen for the charge of Involuntary Manslaughter, a misdemeanor as defined by O.C.G.A. 16-5-3(b). After conferring with the Solicitor General’s Office for Burke County, in the interest of preventing delays and ensuring continuity of services for Izzy’s family, we shall exercise our concurrent jurisdiction by accusing this matter in the Superior Court of Burke County.
The truth is this: nothing done in a courtroom can ever repair the harm done to Izzy’s family. Many have called for felony charges and a lengthy prison sentence for this offense. Neither the law nor the facts support such a result. After discussing this decision, both the family and the State of Georgia are in lockstep that the aim of this prosecution is not retribution, but Accountability under the law.
Why should a child so innocent, so precious, leave us so young? How could the law be so insufficient, placing no safeguards over the very people who are entrusted as lifeguards over our children? As I have struggled with these questions, I recognize that I can neither question God’s timing nor expect to understand His providence. What I can do is use the law to create the change this community wishes to see. I therefore offer my support and knowledge of this case and the law to our local delegation of the Georgia General Assembly. Together with the family we may be able to protect children across this state, striving to ensure no family need ever endure this pain again. In the end, I believe Izzy’s legacy will be lasting change.
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- “Can you imagine your child calling you and you can’t help her–I lost it,” A vigil was held following the drowning of 4-year old Israel Scott
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