Pediatrician recognized for volunteer work in court case

SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) - A Sherman doctor is being recognized for his part in the trial of a mother convicted of starving her infant son to death.

Court documents say at the time he died, 2-month-old Amari Long was only 4.47 pounds, about a pound lighter than his birth weight.

It happened two years ago, and Dr. Joseph Lipscomb was one of the medical professionals who testified at trial in June that the baby died of starvation.

"I think it's my responsibility as a pediatrician to step up for the children in our community," Lipscomb said.

For pediatrician Dr. Joseph Lipscomb, he felt helping out wasn't a choice, but a duty.

"I think children don't have a voice in a lot of places. So someone has to speak up for them other than their parents," Lipscomb said.

That's why when Asst. District Attorney Bi Hunt asked if he could read through more than 1,000 pages medical records for 2-month-old Amari, he didn't think twice.

"Basically being able to give the jury a summation of basically what happened to this baby, which was the baby was starved to death," Smith said.

Baby Amari was found dead on a blowup mattress in June 2017 at the Gunter housing authority.

And he wasn't his mother Tatriauna Roberts' only child.

Prosecutors needed Lipscomb's expertise to put medical lingo into simple terms for the jury to understand.

"I was available the day I needed to be in court and provided the help that they asked me to do," Lipscomb said.

Lipscomb said he volunteered around 15 to 20 hours on the case a couple weeks before trial.

"Dr. Lipscomb volunteered a tremendous amount of his own personal time, some weekends and evenings," Smith said.

"But it's something that I've expected through my training that I need to do to take care of the kids in our community," Lipscomb said.

The jury found 25-year-old Roberts guilty of injury to a child, a trial where Smith says Lipscomb played an instrumental role.

Smith and Hunt awarded him at Grayson County Commissioners Court Tuesday.

But Lipscomb said he's just a doctor doing his job.

"A lot of times they don't have a voice and I think it's my responsibility to give them that voice," Lipscomb said.

Roberts' sentencing is set for August.

She faces up to 99 years in prison.