SANDUSKY, Ohio — The grandmother of a malnourished 18-month-old boy who died in northern Ohio was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to child endangerment, according to court documents filed Wednesday.
Debra Nelson had served as a home care nurse for the boy and some of his siblings. Nelson, also listed as Deborah in some court records, had pleaded guilty to endangerment and failing to provide for a functionally impaired person.
"She watched her grandchildren waste away," social worker Amanda Siesel said at Nelson's sentencing hearing Monday, according to The Sandusky Register (http://bit.ly/19GA7GX ). "She did not uphold her duties as a grandmother and nurse."
Nelson acknowledged shortcomings.
"I know what I've done is wrong," she told the court. She has given up her nursing license, according to court records.
Her grandson Isaac Brothers-Bartholomew died of malnutrition and dehydration last November at his family's home near Vermilion, roughly 30 miles west of Cleveland. His mother told authorities he had had gastrointestinal problems and other medical concerns. Investigators said the boy hadn't seen a doctor in months.
The other children were removed, and four were treated for malnutrition.
Nelson's lawyer has said some of the children had genetic conditions that caused physical disabilities and medical problems that overwhelmed the family.
Nelson, 62, told the court she had sought to persuade her son to stop having children as they tried to address the youngsters' health concerns.
"I did my best, that's all I can say," she said.
The children's parents, James Brothers and Adrienne Bartholomew, also each pleaded guilty to multiple child endangerment charges, and they were sentenced earlier this month. Involuntary manslaughter and other charges were dismissed under the plea deal.
Bartholomew was sentenced to three years in prison, with some credit for time already served. Brothers was sentenced to five years in prison plus almost a year in jail, with credit for more than seven months served.
Information from: Sandusky Register, http://www.sanduskyregister.com/cgi-bin/liveique.acgi$sch=frontpage?frontpage