A vegan Florida mother has been sentenced to life in prison after she was convicted of murder in Cape Coral. The jury convicted Sheila O’Leary, 39, of murder after a week-long deliberation following the 2019 death of her son Ezra, who died from complications after being subjected to his mother’s raw, plant-based diet.
Ezra was found dead by authorities after his parents discovered he wasn’t breathing. When paramedics arrived on the scene, they declared Ezra dead and found out that he only weighed 17 pounds. Sheila and her husband Ryan, who has also been charged with murder, have two older kids aged three and five, who were in a similar condition when medics arrived.
The vegan diet that Sheila lived by and subjected her kids to, consisted of feeding them a subsistence diet of just raw vegetables and fruits, along with breast milk. When the kids were found all three had blackened teeth, extremely poor hygiene, and yellowed skin.
The meatless diet also consisted of mangos, bananas, avocados, and rambutans. Ezra’s tragic death follows a trend of children suffering from dangerous, hardcore vegan diets. As the climate change horn rings louder, these diets are becoming more and more extreme.
According to the report, Sheila also had another daughter, who was “in considerably better health” than the other three kids from this relationship.
“She chose to disregard his cries,” Florida State Assistant Attorney Sara Miller said following the conviction. “She didn’t need a scale to see his bones. She didn’t need a scale to hear his cries,” Miller continued.
According to the police report, the child began struggling to breathe. But instead of calling 911, the parents went to sleep and when they woke up, Ezra was unconscious.
Doctors also revealed that the child hadn’t been fed in a week leading up to his medical episode causing his death in 2019.
Sheila’s husband is currently awaiting trial.