Appeals court reverses conviction against Noah Thomas’ mother

The Virginia Court of Appeals today reversed the conviction of Ashley Jennifer White, ruling she should not have been held criminally responsible for the death of her son, 5-year-old Noah Thomas.

Thomas died in 2015, and his body was recovered from a septic tank outside the family’s mobile home on Highland Road in Pulaski County, ending a four-day search that gripped the county’s citizens.

White was first convicted in 2016.

White was originially convicted of two counts of child abuse and neglect in
violation of Code § 18.2-371.1(B), and one count of child abuse and neglect in violation of Code § 18.2-371.1(A).  On appeal, White challenged only the conviction under Code § 18.2-371.1(A).
White argued that the evidence was insufficient to prove she committed a willful act or willful omission that caused or permitted the tragic death of her five-year-old son.

The entire 19-page opinion issued today by the court, and made available through the court’s Appellate Case Management System, can be viewed through the link below