A father and stepmother from Illinois who are described as & # 39; bad people & # 39; will spend 20 and 25 years in prison respectively to put their 6-year-old son to death.
The authorities claim that Liam Roberts weighed only 17 pounds when he died in November 2017 after refusing food for almost two years.
The Alton Telegraph reports that a judge on Wednesday sentenced his father Michael Roberts to 25 years in prison and stepmother Georgena Roberts to 20 years in the Jersey County Courthouse.
The couple, both, 43, from Jerseyville both pleaded guilty to first degree murder in November. Two points of danger to the life and health of a child were deleted.
Prosecutors stated that the couple was starving the boy and his brother, 7, as a form of punishment and abstaining food and nutrition on a regular basis.
Michael Roberts (left) and his wife Georgena (right) are sentenced to respectively 20 and 25 years in prison for starving his six-year-old son
When he died, the boy weighed about a third of the typical weight of a six-year-old. A preliminary autopsy indicated that he died of extreme malnutrition.
At the announcement of the sentence, Chief Circuit Judge Eric S. Pistorius described the case several times as & # 39; incomprehensible & # 39 ;.
Attorney Ben Goetten of Jersey County State and Bradford police commander, Brad Blackorby, said the couple responsible for the death of this beautiful child & # 39; spend the rest of their adult life in prison.
"We are all happy to see the conclusion of this case", was a statement. It was an indefatigable, disheartening process for both the family and those involved in the investigation and prosecution.
"Although we will never forget Liam, we hope that the family and the community can now heal from the trauma of this gruesome crime.
We should not forget that Liam's brothers and sisters lost not only a brother through the actions of these two persons, but also two parents who are not there to watch them grow.
"We wish these children the very best when they try to continue their lives", according to the Alton Telegraph.
Pistorious noted that the sentences were at the bottom of the spectrum because they had no prior criminal history for both. Georgena Roberts also suffered from various mental health problems, the court was told.
He said that both had pleaded guilty to the highest charge, removing uncertainty from the trial and eliminating the need for a lawsuit.
Besides the costs and time, Pistorius said that a trial almost certainly had exposed Liam's siblings to further traumatisation.
He noted that Georgena Roberts was suffering from a serious mental illness that significantly reduced her behavior & # 39; influenced and left her with behavioral and personality disorders.
Neighbors of the couple who lived in this house told the police that they did not know that Liam or his brother even existed because they never saw them
In a testimony, Kim Roberts who was the biological mother of Liam, said Liam died & terrified & # 39; and & # 39; only & # 39; and that it was necessary to the & # 39; evil people & # 39; to punish her & # 39; beautiful son & # 39; murdered.
Kim's son Jacob Racel said that he & # 39; truly believes that Mike is the devil.
She talked about the quality of a good father and said: 'Mike has not succeeded at all here & # 39 ;.
Testimony was also heard by Maj. Scott Woelfel, deputy chief of police of Jerseyville.
Woelfel described how Michael Roberts was called by Georgena Roberts at work, while his father asked: "Does he breathe?"
He also noted that after making the phone, Georgena Roberts put Liam on a couch, put his brother in the car and picked up the other children at school.
Liam was taken to the hospital a few hours later.
Woelfel claimed that the couple's actions began shortly after their marriage and about 18 months prior to Liam's death.
According to Woelfel, school staff noticed that Liam was so obsessed with food, "when he went to school, he literally ate food from the floor.
At the time of his death, Liam reportedly weighed 17 pounds. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average weight of a 6-year-old is 45 pounds.
The parents had previously been the subject of a DCFS complaint in January 2016, which claimed that there was insufficient food in the household.
However, a pediatrician concluded that the low body weight of Liam Robert was due to a medical problem and that DCFS closed the case.
The police had been to the house several times in the six months prior to Liam's death, according to neighbors. Woelfel also said that neighbors later told the police that they had never seen the boys before.
& # 39; Neighbors did not even know that Liam (and his brother) existed, & # 39; said Woelfel.