Florida – When Sheila O’Leary’s (39) son Ezra (18 months) stopped breathing on September 27, 2018, he weighed less than eight kilos. The toddler was emaciated to the bone. Now the vegan mother has been convicted of murder by malnutrition by a court in Cape Coral (Florida, USA).
The prosecutor in his closing statement: “She chose to ignore his screams. She didn’t need a scale to see his bones.” This was reported by the English “DailyMail”.
On the day of Ezra’s death, the vegan mother was still breastfeeding him. When he had trouble breathing, police said, his parents went to sleep instead of getting help.
When they woke up again, the little child wasn’t breathing. Paramedics called could only determine his death. The autopsy found that Ezra hadn’t had anything to eat in weeks.
Sheia and her husband told the police that they were strictly vegan. Their children would therefore not get any meat or animal products either.
Sheila and her husband Ryan (30) fed Ezra only breast milk, raw vegetables and fruit. Their four children mainly ate avocados, bananas, mangoes and rambutans (a type of lychee).
The emergency physicians also examined the other children at the crime scene. The result was shocking: the older siblings (3, 5) were also clearly undernourished. Her teeth are rotting, her skin yellow. They were also way too small for their age. The children would never have seen a doctor, later investigations revealed.
Only Sheila’s eldest daughter (11) from another relationship was relatively healthy. The investigators attribute this to the fact that the girl was regularly with her father and got enough to eat there.
Sheila was charged with Ezra’s death, the process dragged on for weeks. The vegan mother rejected a deal with the public prosecutor’s office to plead guilty and receive a maximum sentence of 30 years.
Now she faces jail to the death. Vegan father Ryan is charged in a separate trial. He faces the same punishment.