Florida vegan mother sentenced to life in prison for starvation of her young son

A Florida vegan was sentenced to life in prison on Monday for starving her 18-month-old son.

Sheila O’Leary, 38, let her family follow a strict vegan diet NBC News. O’Leary said her family follows a strict diet of raw fruits and vegetables. Her husband – Ryan Patrick O’Leary – told investigators that his infant son was also breastfed.

Ezra O’Leary – the Cape Coral couple’s 18-month-old son – died on September 27, 2019. Police said the baby weighed just 17 pounds at the time of death. Authorities estimate that baby Ezra was the size of a 7-month-old infant when he died.

Prosecutors said baby Ezra died of “complications from severe malnutrition and dehydration.”

“This kid hasn’t eaten anything. He was starved to death for over 18 months,” said Francine Donnorummo – the director of the Lee County Attorney’s Office of Victims’ Task Force – during the trial.

The vegan mom and her husband Ryan O’Leary have two other children, ages 3 and 5, who were also malnourished, according to authorities. Prosecutor Amira Fox said the two children “also suffered from extreme levels of neglect and child abuse.” O’Leary was ordered to have no contact with them.

O’Leary has a fourth child who was forced to return to the birth father because of malnutrition issues, according to Virginia court records.

On December 18, 2019, Sheila and Ryan were both indicted by a grand jury in Lee County, Florida.

Sheila O’Leary was convicted in June on six counts: first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter, child abuse and two counts of child neglect. O’Leary has been served two 30-year sentences for aggravated child molestation and aggravated manslaughter of a child and an additional five-year sentence for child molestation and child neglect, to be served concurrently, the statement said Fort Myers News Press.

The Florida woman’s attorney, Lee Hollander, said of the punishment, “It was what we expected.”

Hollander said he intends to appeal the verdict and seek a new trial.

Ryan O’Leary, 33, remains in prison awaiting trial on the same charges as his wife.


Florida vegan mother sentenced to life in prison after baby starved to death

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https://www.theblaze.com/news/vegan-florida-mom-baby-starving-death Florida vegan mother sentenced to life in prison for starvation of her young son

Laura Coffey

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