An Iowa woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison las week for starving her 2-month-old baby to the point that he only weighed five pounds when he passed away.
KTVO reports that 2-month-old Judah Wessels passed away in July 2016 after his mother, Angel Poole, failed to properly care for him. According to a medical examiner who conducted the autopsy, the baby was “markedly malnourished.” When born, Judah was a healthy baby who weighed seven pounds.
Court documents indicate that Poole took her son to a wellness visit a week after his birth. The physician gave him a clean bill of health and noted the baby was healthy and thriving. Over the following two months, Poole failed to bring Judah back to the doctor for any follow-up visits, apparently claiming she never “got around to it.”
She later called 911 when she noticed Judah struggling to breathe. He passed away at the hospital.
After a detailed investigation, authorities arrested Poole in 2017. Detectives said she “knowingly acted in a manner that created a substantial risk to the health and welfare” to the baby.
The sentencing came after that case had been pushed back several times. Previously, the defense requested a delay so they could find and consult with a neonatal expert witness. Another delay occurred when two prosecution witnesses were unavailable for trial, prompting the Area Prosecutions Division of the Attorney General’s office to take over the case.
Another delay happened when the prosecution asked for the initial autopsy to be removed from trial. M.E. Jonathon Thompson, who performed the autopsy on the baby, wrote that “it was unknown if the mother understood progressive decline of the infant’s health status.”
Prosecutors argued that the medical examiner shared an opinion that lacked scientific backing, which should be kept from the jury. The judge ultimately agreed.
Poole eventually ended up taking a plea deal to a lesser charge. Prosecutors initially charged Poole with child endangerment causing death, which carries a sentence of 25 years in prison. Poole pleaded guilty to child endangerment causing serious injury, which carries a lesser sentence of 10 years.
[Feature Photo: Pixabay]