Former foster mom gets 6 years in prison for starving adopted son to death

Relates to:
Date: 2007-07-23
Source: krem.com

Former foster mom gets 6 years in prison for starving adopted son to death

July 23, 2007
KREM.com

COLVILLE, Wash. --

UPDATE 3:24pm: It was standing room only in a Stevens County court room Friday morning as the judge handed down the maximum sentence of six years for Carol Deleon.

DeLeon starved her adopted son Tyler to death. He weighed 28 pounds at age seven when authorities found him.

The judge says Carol Ann Deleon was reckless in her parenting when it came to Tyler and that the treatment of her children is what he called unnatural.

He also said the fact that Tyler only gained ten pounds from the time he was 16 months old till his death is clear evidence something was wrong.

Even though the maximum sentence was handed down some say it still isn't enough.

Blocked by a pool of guards, Deleon, who is accused of depriving two of her adoptive children food and water, walked into court to learn her fate.

Many stood outside the court house in Colville to protest against the six year prison sentence. Others, like Jennifer Paxton who was Carol's cellmate, came in support.

Family members of the other child in this case say every system set up to protect Tyler failed him including the prosecutor who they say kept flip-flopping the charges.

But one mother who also gave her child up in a private adoption to Carol says the Carol she knew is not the monster so many people described. S he says she had an agreement with Carol allowing her to visit her daughter regularly, but now with Carol being hauled off to prison she wonders if and when she'll see her little girl again.

Carol did make a statement in court today saying she loved all her children and would have never mistreated them.

UPDATE 12:03pm: Carole Ann DeLeon was sentenced to 6 years in prison, the maximum penalty for her charges. These penalties are separate from an upcoming restitution trial that is being scheduled in Colville court today.

Check back with KREM.com for more updates to this report.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

A former foster mother accused of starving her adopted son to death is going to prison; the question is, for how long?

Carole Ann DeLeon is being sentenced this morning in Stevens County Superior Court for one count of first-degree criminal mistreatment in the death of Tyler DeLeon. The boy died in January of 2005, on his seventh birthday. At the time, he weighed just 27 pounds.

As part of her plea, DeLeon does not admit guilt but acknowledges that she could be convicted at trial. DeLeon also entered an Alford plea to a charge of second-degree criminal mistreatment for her care of another boy who prosecutors alleged was severely malnourished.

Several protestors gathered outside the courthouse to protest the sentencing, saying it was too short.

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