Florida mother found guilty of starving child on vegan diet

Mom convicted on six charges including first-degree murder.

Updated: July 1, 2022 - 5:36pm

A Florida woman was convicted of starving her 18-month-old toddler to death on an exclusively vegan diet, with the child's father facing the same charges in the near future. 

Sheila O'Leary was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of her son Ezra O'Leary who died on Sept. 27, 2019. 

O'Leary and her husband reportedly only fed infant Ezra a diet of raw fruit and vegetables supplemented with breast milk. The mother told investigators that prior to his death the child had not eaten in a week. 

Prosecutors as evidence cited the fact that when O'Leary previously lived in Virginia she was ordered by the state to attend a parenting class in order to ensure that she raised her children to thrive. 

The mother's attorney argued that the death was an accident, but state prosecutor Sara Miller claimed that O'Leary "chose to disregard Ezra's suffering."

“She didn’t need a scale to see his bones," Miller said. "She didn’t need a scale to hear his cry.”

O'Leary's husband Ryan, meanwhile, has been indicted on the same six charges on which his wife was convicted.