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Mother in WI charged with child neglect in death of daughter with special needs

An autopsy shows 13-year-old Brianna Gussert died of sepsis, a blood infection that can be caused by neglect, at her mother’s house last year. (Source: Greg Gussert/WGBA/CNN) An autopsy shows 13-year-old Brianna Gussert died of sepsis, a blood infection that can be caused by neglect, at her mother’s house last year. (Source: Greg Gussert/WGBA/CNN)

APPLETON, WI (WGBA/CNN) – Court documents allege a Wisconsin mother neglected to provide care for her 13-year-old daughter, resulting in the teenager’s death of sepsis last year.

Nicole Gussert, the mother of 13-year-old Brianna Gussert, appeared in court Monday afternoon, where the judge set her bail at $300,000.

She faces a charge of child neglect resulting in death in addition to drug charges for allegedly attempting to sell Adderall.

Brianna’s father and Nicole Gussert’s ex-husband, Greg Gussert, says thinking of his daughter’s death is still heartbreaking.

"It's just like a wound that's being reopened” Greg Gussert said. "Some of the worst news I've ever heard. It's unbelievable what she had to go through."

Police officers say they found 13-year-old Brianna dead at her mother’s Appleton, WI, home in May of last year. They say the home smelled like rotting food, human waste and death.

According to court documents, Brianna, who had special needs, required constant care.

"She was unable to walk. She was unable to talk. She was unable to care for herself at all,” said Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis.

The documents say Nicole Gussert failed to provide this necessary care.

In an interview with officers, the mother said she couldn’t remember the last time she had fed or changed Brianna.

An autopsy shows the 13-year-old died of sepsis, a blood infection that can be caused by neglect.

While Greg Gussert says he’s glad the trial is moving forward after a year, he wishes his ex-wife faced more prison time.

If convicted on all four of her charges, Nicole Gussert could spend 60 years behind bars.

"I don't know if it's enough,” Greg Gussert said.

Nicole Gussert is due back in court on June 19.

Copyright 2018 WGBA, Greg Gussert via CNN. All rights reserved.

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