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W.Va. toddler found in hotel bathtub dies |

W.Va. toddler found in hotel bathtub dies

| Friday, July 6, 2012 8:40 p.m
Allegheny County District Attorney's Office
Sharon Flanagan, 33, was arrested July 2, 2012, and charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and recklessly endangering another person.

A West Virginia toddler, who had been hospitalized since police say his mother tried to drown him in a Green Tree hotel bathtub, died on Friday afternoon, a spokeswoman for the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

Steven Flanagan, 2, died at 1:15 p.m. in Children’s Hospital in Lawrenceville, where he was taken after he was found on Sunday night in the Best Western Parkway Center Inn.

His mother, Sharon Flanagan, 33, of Inwood remains in the Allegheny County Jail to await a preliminary hearing on charges of attempted homicide, endangering the welfare of a child and related crimes.

Allegheny County Police filed the charges because they said Flanagan told them different versions of what happened.

“This is a horrible tragedy,” said attorney David J. DeFazio, who represents Flanagan.

“She is extremely distraught, so distraught that when I met with her on the Fourth to talk to her about the incident, she was too distraught to talk,” DeFazio said. “I am going to try to meet with her again over the weekend.”

An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday.

A bond revocation hearing for Flanagan was held before Common Pleas Judge Edward Borkowski after her son died. Borkowski decided to revoke her bond.

County police intend to file additional charges once results of the autopsy are known.

Flanagan has undergone a court-ordered mental evaluation and was found competent enough for a preliminary hearing that is tentatively scheduled for next week, DeFazio said.

Members of Flanagan’s family could not be reached for comment.

Berkeley County prosecutor Pamela Jean Games-Neely said Flanagan has no criminal record in the county.

A spokeswoman for the Circuit Court there said Flanagan and her husband, Steve, were in the process of getting a divorce.

Sharon Flanagan first told police that her son was swimming and ended up face down, possibly from falling as he tried to get out of the tub. She said she could not lift the boy, who weighed 32 pounds, because he was “stuck,” according to the criminal complaint.

She later said “she felt like something was actually pulling him toward the bottom of the tub,” the complaint states.

Other hotel guests called 911 when Flanagan began screaming and running up and down the hallway.

Staff writer Margaret Harding contributed to this report. Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or

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