(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) A radicalized vegan in Florida received a life sentence after starving her child to death by feeding him only raw fruits and vegetables, leading to his death at 18-months-old.
Shelia O’Leary was convicted in June on several counts connected to the death of her son Ezra, including first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and child abuse, Just the News reported.
Ezra’s father, Ryan, is awaiting trial on the same chargers, with the addition of sexual assault charges on a victim younger than 12 and lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim younger than 12.
Ezra reportedly weighed only 17 pounds when he passed—seven pounds underweight the average for his age. Investigators said he was the size of about a seven-month-old baby.
“This child did not eat. He was starved to death over 18 months,” Francine Donnorummo, the Special Victims Unit chief for the Lee County State Attorney’s Office, stated during O’Leary’s trial.
Investigators said the family ate only raw fruits and vegetables, though the toddler was also fed breast milk. O’Leary’s testimony corroborated that the entire family was strictly vegan.
She also stated that Ezra had not eaten for a week and that he was unable to sleep the night before his death.
State Attorney Amira Fox posted on Facebook following the sentencing, saying that the other children of the O’Learys, who are 3, 5 and 11 years old, also suffered from “extreme neglect and child abuse.”
O’Leary “was also ordered to have no contact with her children;” her husband is awaiting trial behind bars.
Her attorney, Lee Hollander, was not surprised by the sentence.
“It was what we were expecting,” Hollander stated in an interview. Hollander also said he is appealing the sentence and asking for a new trial.
She will understand her children’s starvation very well being a vegan in prison. Good luck with that. Terribly sad when children are involved.
— ☔️ A Walk in the Rain ☔️ (@AWalkIntheRain) September 1, 2022