Vegan Florida mom found guilty of first-degree murder for starving her son

By: April Carson



A woman convicted of murdering her kid in Florida has suggested that her and her spouse's diet may have been a factor in the tragedy.


According to a news release from the Florida State Attorney's Office, a jury last Thursday found Sheila O'Leary, 39, guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter, and child abuse in addition to two counts of neglect.


The jury decided that she was guilty on all counts after O'Leary's 18-month-old died in his sleep in September of 2019 in Cape Coral. Evidence was presented during the trial suggesting that the infant's death was caused by malnutrition and dehydration, which led to her conviction.


According to WPLG, the parents of Sheila and Ryan O'Leary, 33, informed cops that they only consume raw fruits and vegetables for their diet. According to the news station, the pair explained that they also fed their son breast milk.


The defense attorney for Sheila O'Leary, who is currently pregnant, said that she will be appealing the verdict.


"Sheila O'Leary is innocent. This was a tragic accident," said defense attorney Scott Richardson. "We are going to file an appeal."


According to the detective, a week before the kid's death, he had not eaten anything. The kid was just 17 pounds at the time of death, according to WPLG, which noted that he weighed 7 pounds less than the average for his age.


The jury took only three hours to find the O'Learys guilty. They were charged in December of 2019.


The sentence recommendation for the pair is 20 years in prison.


The couple's 18-month-old was not the only one discovered to have been maltreated. The state attorney's office reported that their three children, ages 3, 5, and 11, had also suffered from profound neglect and child abuse.


O'Leary has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of her son. The state attorney's office said she will be sentenced on July 25, according to Newsweek. She may face up to life in prison without the option of parole, WPLG reported.


"We thank the jury for carefully considering all of the facts and evidence in this case. We acknowledge their decision," read a tweet from Florida's Office of State Attorney, Newsweek reported.


According to WPLG, the prosecutor, Francine Donnorummo, said during the trial that "this kid didn't eat. He was starved to death over 18 months." The News-Press in Fort Myers reports that she added , according to WPLG.



The attacks, according to Donnorummo, were "a carefully considered and planned course of action" and "she understood what she needed to do," the News-Press reported.


The defense argued that the boy's death could have been caused by an illness and said there was not enough evidence to convict Wright, WPLG reported.


The prosecutor also went after Sheila O'Leary for her "reckless disregard for human life."


"The selfish, manipulative and cold-hearted actions of the defendant in this case are almost inconceivable," she said, according to WPLG. "For over 18 months, Sheila O'Leary kept this little boy starved, isolated and subjected to regular physical abuse."


The case against Ryan O'Leary has not yet been set for trial. He is still facing charges as well.


The defense argued in the boy's death could have been caused by an illness and said there was not enough evidence to convict Wright, WPLG reported.


The prosecutor also went after Sheila O'Leary for her "reckless disregard for human life."


"The selfish, manipulative and cold-hearted actions of the defendant in this case are almost inconceivable," she said, according to WPLG. "For over 18 months, Sheila O'Leary kept this little boy starved, isolated and subjected to regular physical abuse."









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About the Blogger:


April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com


To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav


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