Nurse Gets 10 Years for Starving Handicapped Teen to Death

An Ohio nurse will be spending the next 10 years of her life behind bars for her role in the malnutrition death of a 14-year-old teen who had cerebral palsy.

Mollie Parsons, the nurse in charge of 14-year-old Makayla Norman, pleaded guilty at the last minute in order to avoid a trial. Her plea meant that she accepted responsibility for her role in starving Makayla and failing to provide acceptable care to a special-needs child.

When authorities learned of the situation, Makayla only weighed 28 pounds. She died from a lack of proper nutrition in 2011, and her mother and nurse were charged with her death. Angela Norman, Makayla's mother, is already serving a 9-year sentence in connection with her death.

The case brings to mind that of a Minnesota boy discovered to be so malnourished that his bones protruded from his body and his abdomen was distended. His adopted parents kept the boy from eating solid foods by keeping him in the basement and putting an alarm on his door so he couldn't steal food.

The 8-year-old weighed as much, and was as tall as, an average 4-year-old. The boy, whose name has not been released by officials, told authorities he did not brush his teeth and would sometimes make himself sick "because he wanted the taste of food and did not know when he would eat again."

His adoptive parents, Mona and Russell Hauer, have been charged with six felonies including child neglect and malicious punishment of a child. They are currently free on bail and awaiting trial.

Meanwhile, the boy has been admitted to a hospital for specialized care and has been put on a diet meant to help him gain weight.