Read the Article here.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The family of a woman who pleaded guilty earlier this year to locking her teenage son in a bed told a judge she is not the monster prosecutors make her out to be and urged him not to give her a long prison sentence.
Brenda Sullivan could receive up to 20 years on three counts of aggravated child abuse.
In the first of what could be a three-day sentencing hearing, Sullivan's stepson testified that she locked her teenage son in what he called a pedia-crib for his own protection.
"If he was uncontrollable and we couldn't control him.... When he calmed down he was let out," said Nathan Sullivan, who broke down at times on the stand.
Prosecutors said Brenda Sullivan's 17-year-old adopted son weighed 49 pounds when authorities removed him from the home in 2005.
A police report said the boy was starving and suffered psychosocial dwarfism -- a lack of physical and emotional growth caused by abuse. Authorities also say he was forced to wear a diaper.
Sullivan told a judge at the time that Ohio authorities told her to keep the boy, who had severe medical and emotional problems, in a crib.
Duval County Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper was shown photos of the boy when he was taken into state custody and what he looks like now, three years later.
Sullivan has insisted a doctor prescribed the crib to keep the boy she called "unruly" under control, something her sister-in-law explained in court.
A previous Blog post about this story here.