Woman Who Let Her 13-Year-Old Son Starve To Death Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison
As part of a plea agreement, Jessica Jensen, 36, of Kenmare, North Dakota, will serve 25 years in prison for the death of her 13-year-old son from starvation.
"I really can't think of any conduct worse than a parent depriving her children of what they need, in this case medical care which could have saved the child's life, and those educational and social advancements that would have helped those other children,” North Central District Judge Gary Lee said in court, according to KXNET.
Jensen’s son Aidan Bossingham, 13, died in January of 2014 from starvation. The autopsy found he weighed 21 pounds and could have survived if he had been given medical treatment. Jensen’s other two children, ages 7 and 14, were found to have deficient education and social skills.
"She was entrusted with the care and nurture of her children and she completely destroyed those children, one even to his death,” Judge Lee said.
In July, Judge Lee denied a plea deal that would have sent Jensen to jail for 16 years.
After Jensen entered a plea of guilty for murder on Oct. 3, Judge Lee accepted the new plea deal and sentenced her to 25 years in prison.
Jensen told the court she did not fully agree with the accusations brought against her by prosecutors, prompting Judge Lee to reiterate to her that in order for the plea deal to be accepted she had to agree with all of the facts in the case.
"You withheld necessary care and treatment from your child and as a result of that, the child died,” Judge Lee said.
"Yeah, I admit I did not get him the help he needed, right,” Jensen said. Her response was accepted by the court and the plea deal enacted.
Jensen had pleaded not guilty last year to murder, child neglect, and failure to report the death of a child, The Daily Mail reports. She told investigators that her son suffered from a hormonal growth problem and that his pituitary gland did not function properly. When her son ate, she claimed he would vomit afterwards and that she had not taken him to see a doctor for several years.
"I just want to say that I'm sorry I did not get the help that I needed to care for my son or myself, and maybe he would still be here, I'm sorry to everybody that I've hurt,” Jensen said in court after her sentencing.
"This sentence lets this poor child rest in peace,” Judge Lee said. “A photograph of him at his death, the autopsy, and more. None of that has to become a public record. No one has to argue and then later decide whether Ms. Jensen was guilty or not. It is, for him, over. He can rest in peace."
Jensen has been ordered to not have any contact with her other children for the rest of their lives.