Vegan mom gets life in prison after 18-month-old son starved to death on raw food diet

Father of deceased child is also awaiting trial on same charges.

Updated: September 1, 2022 - 12:26pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A Florida woman has been sentenced to life in prison after starving her child to death by feeding him only raw fruits and vegetables prior to his death at 18 months old. 

Sheila O'Leary was convicted in June on several counts stemming from the death of her son Ezra in September of 2019; those convictions included first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter, and child abuse. 

Her husband and Ezra's father, Ryan, is awaiting a trial on the same charges. Ezra reportedly weighed just 17 pounds when he died, about seven pounds underweight from average for his age; investigators claimed he was the size of about a seven-month-old baby. 

State Attorney Amira Fox said on Facebook after the sentencing that, in addition to Ezra, three other children of the O'Learys, "a 3-year-old, 5-year-old, and an 11-year-old child, also suffered from extreme neglect and child abuse."

O'Leary herself "was also ordered to have no contact with her children," Fox noted.