On April 28, A&E’s new series Accused: Guilty or Innocent? returned with its second episode, which explored the case of Danita Thetford Tutt, who was accused in 2016 of attempting to murder her son, Colby Tutt. The prosecution alleged that Tutt, a mother from Cleburne, Texas, injured her son through unnecessary surgeries and then withheld food from him in an attempt to starve him. Tutt denied these allegations, saying that she only followed the recommendations from doctors and hospice workers.
The A&E series explores cases from the perspective of the person accused of a crime through the trial, their defense and their verdict, all seen through the lenses of the defense team and the accused and their family. The show premiered with the episode on Bryan Steven Lawson, which explored whether he murdered his wife or killed her in self-defense.
When watching Tutt’s story on this week’s episode, titled “Attempted Murder or Protective Mother?” a lot of viewers may be wondering, where is Danita Tutt now?
Danita Was Found Guilty & Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison & 10 Years Probation
In October 2018, a Tarrant County jury found Tutt guilty of one count of causing her child serious bodily injury and one count of attempted murder for withholding nutrients and food from her child. The jury deliberated for five days before returning the verdict. A few days later, on October 26, 2018, Tutt was sentenced to five years in prison for injury to a child and a recommended 10 years of probation for attempted murder.
At the time, one of Tutt’s defense attorneys, Terri Moore, said: “She’s devastated. There’s no doubt about it. She’s heartbroken. She’s flat on her face right now. She’s not somebody who has ever given much thought to spending time at the courthouse. Nobody knows the stress of being on trial until it happens to them.” Moore added that the doctors who cared for Colby should shoulder the blame for what happened, for convincing Tutt that her son was terminally ill and dying.
In a statement to Heavy, Moore said, “It continues to make me sick to my stomach when I think of Danita. She is an innocent young mother. The jury blew it,” adding that she believes the jury was swayed by the media coverage of the case leading up to the trial that painted Tutt in a negative light.
Danita Is Still in Prison Today & She Is Not Eligible for Parole Until 2021
According to inmate records at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice site, Tutt is sentenced to jail until October 17, 2023. She is serving her sentence in the William P. Hobby Unit, a prison for women in Falls County, Texas. Her record states that she was denied parole on May 25, 2019, due to the nature of the case but was eligible for parole on April 18, 2021. According to a Facebook page for Danita Tutt, a family member indicated that she will be released on parole on October 1, 2021. Heavy reached out to Tutt’s attorneys to confirm but did not immediately hear back.
In a prior email to Heavy, Moore said, “Danita is a strong woman deeply committed to her faith. She is using her faith to help other incarcerated women know they can lean on that faith to give them strength.” She added that an appeal has been filed but there has not yet been a decision.
She said, “it’s heartbreaking that she has to be away from her kids and her son continues to have the same health issues that he [had] before Danita was convicted.” There are reports online that Tutt’s son died but family members on Facebook have said the reporting is false and Colby Tutt is alive, though he continues to suffer from the same health issues.