A 39-year-old mother was sentenced to life in prison after her 18-month-old baby tragically died weighing only 17lbs after following a strict vegan diet.
Sheila O’Leary was convicted on six charges – first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter, aggravated child abuse, child abuse, as well as two counts of child neglect.
During her sentencing, which had already been postponed four times, she did not show any emotion and told the judge that she did not want to make a statement.
O’Leary’s husband Ryan Patrick O’Leary, remains in prison and faces the same charges.
The couple from Cape Coral told investigators that the family ate only raw fruits and vegetables but their son was fed breastmilk.
Their 18-month-old son weighed only 17lbs when he died in September 2019. Investigators said that their two other children, ages 5 and 3, were also malnourished.
Doctors found that the toddler had not been fed for a week by the time he passed away.
Sheila and Ryan reportedly called 911 when they realized that the toddler stopped breathing. Sadly, the youngster was pronounced dead at the scene.
Paramedics also decided to examine the couple’s other children.
The couple were charged in December 2019 after the child’s cause of death was revealed.
While no photos have been released showing the child’s state at the time of his death, prosecutors described an emaciated child who constantly cried.
“She chose to disregard his cries. She didn’t need a scale to see his bones,” said Sara Miller, Assistant State Attorney. “She didn’t need a scale to hear his cry.”
The skin of the couple’s other children was skin and one of them has black teeth due to poor dental hygiene.
Police also said that on the day the toddler died, he had been nursing and started struggling to breathe. But instead of calling for help, his parents went to sleep.
By the time they woke up, their son had already died.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section and SHARE this story with your friends and family!
Recommended Video For You!
“Baby Pulls Innocent Prank On Dad, Giggles Uncontrollably”