A vegan mum has been jailed for life over the 'murder by malnutrition' of her 18-month-old son, who was fed just raw fruits and vegetables.
Ezra O'Leary weighed 17 pounds, and was the size of a seven-month-old baby, when he died in September 2019, a police report said.
Sheila O'Leary, 38, whose family followed a strict vegan diet, was convicted in June on six charges for the toddler's death.
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O'Leary was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter, child abuse and two counts of child neglect and sentenced to life in prison, on Monday, in Lee County, Florida.
The mother of three other children showed no emotion as the sentence was read out and told the judge she did not wish to make a statement.
Investigators said O'Leary and her husband, Ryan from Cape Coral ate only raw fruits and vegetables, although the toddler also was fed breast milk.
Their two other children, aged three and five were also malnourished, investigators said.
Amira Fox, the state attorney, said the two endured "extreme neglect".
A fourth child had been returned to her biological father during an earlier malnutrition case in Virginia, court records show.
Doctors found Ezra had not been fed for a week by the time he died. His parents called 911 after he stopped breathing.
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The pair were charged in December 2019 after Ezra's cause of death was revealed. Ryan O'Leary has also been charged with murder and is awaiting trail.
Prosecutors at Sheila's trial described an emaciated child who constantly cried.
Sara Miller, Assistant State Attorney, said: "She chose to disregard his cries.
"She didn't need a scale to see his bones.
"She didn't need a scale to hear his cry."
As well as being severely malnourished the couple's other two children had yellow skin, and one suffered such poor dental hygiene that their teeth were black.
Sheila also has an 11-year-old daughter from a previous relationship and her health was considerably better than that of the other children, due to her spending time with her father in Virginia and eating a proper diet.
The three children were fed a diet by their mother that consisted mostly of mangoes, bananas, avocados and rambutans.
Ezra was born at home and had never been to a physician.
According to police, on the day he died, the toddler had been nursing when he started struggling to breathe.
Instead of calling for help, his parents say they went to sleep and, by the time they woke up, he had stopped breathing entirely.
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