A life sentence was handed down on Monday to a vegan mother in Florida of USAwho was convicted of murdering her young son from malnutrition.
Sheila O’Leary, 39, whose family followed a strict vegetarian diet, went on trial in June on six charges: first degree murderaggravated child abuse, aggravated murder, child abuse and two counts of child neglect.
Her sentencing in Lee County, Florida, had previously been postponed four times. He showed no emotion as the sentence was announced and told the judge he did not want to make any statement.
Her husband, Ryan Patrick O’Leary, remains in jail awaiting trial on the same charges.
The family ate only raw fruits and vegetables, although the toddler was also fed breast milk. The 18-month-old boy weighed just a few pounds and was the size of a seven-month-old baby when he died in September 2019, according to a police report.
The forensic report showed that little Ezra had not eaten for a week, until he died.
The couple had two other children, aged 3 and 5, who were also malnourished. The prosecutor said the two suffered “extreme neglect”.
A fourth child had been returned to his biological father during a previous malnutrition case in Virginia, according to court records.
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