FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Florida woman who had been convicted of murder, child abuse and child neglect for starving her child to death, was sentenced to life in prison.
Sheila O’Leary was convicted in July for the death of her 18-month-old son, Ezra, as we reported at the time. She and her husband, Ryan, were both indicted for Ezra’s death, as well as abusing and neglecting their three other children.
A judge sentenced O’Leary to life in prison Monday, in a sentencing hearing that had been postponed four times, The Associated Press reported.
O’Leary was additionally sentenced to two 30-year sentences for aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter of a child, as well as five years for child abuse and neglect charges, WINK reported. All the sentences will run concurrently.
Judge Bruce Kyle did not comment on the sentence, which also bans O’Leary from having contact with her surviving children, the Fort Myers News-Press reported.
Ezra weighed only 17 pounds and was the size of a 7-month-old baby when he died in September 2019, police said. The O’Learys allegedly told police that their entire family ate only raw fruits and vegetables, and that Ezra hadn’t eaten for a week prior to his death, the News-Press reported.
O’Leary’s attorney told WINK that he plans to appeal the verdict.
Investigators said O’Leary and her husband had two other children, ages 3 and 5, the AP reported. O’Leary had a fourth child who was returned to her biological father as a result of an earlier malnutrition case in Virginia, according to court documents obtained by the AP.
Ryan O’Leary remains in jail awaiting trial on the same charges.
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