A Florida vegan mother has been found guilty of murdering her 18-month-old son after only feeding him raw fruits and vegetables.
Sheila O’Leary, 39, is facing life in prison after a jury convicted her Wednesday of murder and a string of child abuse charges over the 2019 death of her toddler Ezra O’Leary, the News Press reported.
Her little boy weighed just 17lbs — seven pounds below average — when his parents noticed he had stopped breathing.
O’Leary and her husband, Ryan O’Leary, told police that Ezra followed a strict vegan diet — but that he was also breast fed.
They said the boy hadn’t eaten for about a week prior to his death and was having trouble sleeping.
An autopsy found the little boy died of malnutrition complications.
Prosecutors accused the mother of failing to seek proper medical care for her son when she realized he was ill.
“She chose to disregard his cries,” Assistant State Attorney Sara Miller said during closing arguments.
“She didn’t need a scale to see his bones. She didn’t need a scale to hear his cry.”
Prosecutors added that the couple had also been neglecting their three other children — all aged under 11 — when Ezra died.
“We’re here because their children were starving so much that the youngest starved to death,” Miller said.
O’Leary’s husband is scheduled to face trial on the same charges.