(Photo: Dallas County Sheriff Department/File)
A stepmom has received 85 years in prison after her 10 year old stepson died after she denied him water as temperatures hit more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tina Marie Alberson, from Dallas, did not show emotion as her sentence was announced last week. She was sentenced after being convicted of reckless injury to a child, which is a second degree felony.
Ten year old, Jonathan James, died in July 2011 after the incident involving his stepmom, and it is said that the boy's mother, Krista Bishop, and other relatives were pleased with the verdict.
Outside the court Bishop said, "We got what we needed," according to The Associated Press.
It was initially believed that Jonathan's death had come about from heat. However, after an examiner's report it was found that he was severely dehydrated over a period of time.
Alberson said in court that she had limited the boy's drinking water for punishment after he misbehaved. She however claimed that she had seen him drinking water at times when he was not in time out, and that she had no clues that he was in distress.
However, the boy's twin brother, who is now 12 years old, testified that his brother had repeatedly pleaded for water. He said that his brother had become so desperate for water that he pretended he needed the bathroom so he could be given permission to go there, where he would drink from the faucet.
Jonathan's grandmother also testified in the court proceedings. Sue Shotwell said, "There was a time he came home with a red mark around his neck and we asked him what happened and he said, 'Tina'." S
In a statement to the court after sentencing she also added, "We trusted you with our baby. If I could speak for Jonathan right now, I would know — you would know — that he still loves you."