Vegan Cult Mom Gets Life Sentence for Starving Toddler to Death

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Sheila O’Leary was sentenced to life in prison after she starved her 18-month-old son Ezra to death. She only gave him raw fruits and vegetables, and occasionally breastfed him.

O’Leary, who claimed that his entire family follows a strict vegan diet was convicted of first-degree murder, child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter.

Police reports claim the boy, Ezra, though an 18-month-old toddler, looked more like a seven-month-old baby. He was said to weigh a mere 17 lbs, which is roughly seven pounds underweight.

“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.

Ryan O’Leary is O’Leary’s spouse and faces additional charges of sexual abuse on a victim under 12 years old and lewd, lascivious conduct on a victim under 12.

O’Learys also had a three-year-old and a five-year-old, who were both malnourished. After a previous malnutrition allegation, an 11-year-old girl was taken from the O’Learys. She was sent to live with her biological dad. Sheila O’Leary was ordered by the judge to not contact her children. Ryan O’Leary has been accused of sexually assaulting a child.

Lee Hollander, Sheila O’Leary’s lawyer, was not surprised by the sentence.

Hollander said in an interview that “it was what we expected.” Hollander said that he appealed the sentence and asked for a fresh trial.

Ryan O’Leary is still in jail as he waits for his trial.