UPDATE: Swim Instructor Charged In Child Drowning Case

UPDATE: Georgia Prosecutors Charge Swim Instructor After 4-Year-Old Drowns During Lesson

Six-and-a-half months after Israel “Izzy” Scott drowned during a swim lesson, a woman named Lexie Tenhuisen has been charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter.

The news came on Dec. 30 through a press release from District Attorney Jared T. Williams of the Augusta Judicial Circuit.

“After months of dedicated inquiry, investigation, and legal analysis, we conclude that a criminal offense has occurred in the death of Israel Scott. I have instructed the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to issue an arrest warrant for Lexie Tenhuisen for the charge of Involuntary Manslaughter.”

Williams continued, noting that—despite calls to charge Tenhuisen with a felony—the facts of the case wouldn’t allow for such a move. He also shared that Izzy’s parents are focused on holding the instructor accountable in an attempt to “ensure no family need ever endure this pain again.”

“Many have called for felony charges and a lengthy prison sentence for this offense. Neither the law nor the facts support such a result. After discussing this decision, both the family and the State of Georgia are in lockstep that the aim of this prosecution is not retribution, but Accountability under the law…[W]e may be able to protect children across this state, striving to ensure no family need ever endure this pain again. In the end, I believe Izzy’s legacy will be lasting change.”

Lexie Tenhuisen Didn’t Allow Izzy’s Mother To Supervise The Lesson

As The Shade Room previously reported, the tragedy occurred on Izzy’s second day of swim lessons back on June 14.

During a conversation with Justin Carter of TSR Investigates, Izzy’s mother—Dori Scott—recalled that Lexie didn’t let parents to watch the swim lessons. As a result, Dori was sitting in her car outside the the swim instructor’s residence when she received the devastating news.

“A lady comes and she knocks on my window. I’m sitting in the car and she’s like ‘Come get your baby,’ and when she said that, she said it kind of rude-like. Then I looked at her face and I just saw like tears in her eyes, so initially I knew something was wrong and I just started screaming.”

Despite an on-scene nurse administering CPR, Izzy remained unresponsive and was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Shortly after the incident, Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams announced that authorities would be “unable to move forward with this case” because it “lacks sufficient evidence to prove criminal negligence,” The Augusta Chronicle reports.

However, the District Attorney soon issued a reassuring statement and shared that “the decision on any potential charges will be made independently of any other agency.”

Family Reacts To The Charge

Now, in response to the news that the DA has charged Lexie with involuntary manslaughter, Izzy’s family is feeling some relief as they continue to navigate their grief.

In a statement to WFXG Fox 54, Izzy’s father—Walt Scott—spoke on how he’s glad to see the swim instructor being held accountable.

“Any time you leave a child under the care of someone else and you don’t get that child back the same way that you sent them off, then that person ultimately is responsible, to whatever extent it may be. That seems pretty clear to me, and the main thing we’ve been talking about is just that, nothing outside of that.”

As for Dori Scott, she reflected on the “void” her family continues to feel following the loss of Izzy.

“All three of my kids are different, not having his little, caring energy around is- even our car rides are different. We’re sitting in the car and everybody’s just quiet because everybody feels that void.”

We’ll keep you updated on any further developments in the case.


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