Vegan mum convicted of murdering baby with strict diet

·2-min read

A vegan mother has been convicted of murdering her infant son by only feeding him a strict vegan diet of just fruit and vegetables.

The Florida woman was convicted earlier this week after a years long court battle which drew global headlines.

Sheila O’Leary, 39, is now facing life in prison over the horrific mistreatment of her 18th-month-old child.

According to the New York Post, the little boy named Ezra weighed just 7.7 kilograms — more than three kilograms below average — when his parents noticed he had suddenly stopped breathing in 2019.

The mum will be sentenced later this month. Source: WINKNews
The mum will be sentenced later this month. Source: WINKNews

The mother called emergency responders when she noticed her baby was not breathing and felt cold, according to a police report. She tried to resuscitate him, but Ezra was dead when paramedics arrived

The couple told police they are vegan and eat only raw fruits and vegetables, but said the baby was also breastfed.

An autopsy ultimately found the little boy died of malnutrition complications.

In 2019, both parents, Ryan and Sheila, were charged with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter, child abuse and two counts of child neglect.

Both parents face disturbing counts related to parental neglect.
Both parents face disturbing charges related to parental neglect. Source: Lee County

"The evidence and crime scene in this case are gut-wrenching. These are images as a mother and State Attorney I will not be able to forget," State Attorney Amira Fox said at the time.

The 2019 indictment also included three other children who also suffered from child abuse and extreme neglect. They were 3, 5 and 11 years old at the time.

On Wednesday (local time), after nearly four hours of jury deliberations, Sheila O’Leary was convicted on all six counts including the first degree murder of her 18-month-old by starvation. She will be sentenced later in July.

The father of the children is also due to face court over the same charges.

with Associated Press

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