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Cape mother guilty of first-degree murder in death of 18-month-old

Sheila O'Leary
Posted at 5:21 PM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 23:01:04-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla.  — A Cape Coral mother, Sheila O'Leary, is found guilty of first-degree murder after her 18-month-old son died from severe malnutrition and dehydration.

Tuesday afternoon, O'Leary was found guilty of aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child, two counts of child neglect, and one count of child abuse.

O'Leary and her husband, Ryan Patrick O'Leary were indicted by a Lee County jury on December 18, 2019, after the death of the child on September 27, 2019.

The trial in 2019 showed that the 18-month-old baby died due to severe malnutrition and dehydration.

According to the State Attorney's Office, there were other children; a three-year-old, a five-year-old and an eleven-year-old who also experienced 'extreme child neglect and abuse'.

The Cape Coral Police Department along with the Children's Advocacy Center investigated the case.

The sentencing date is set for July 25, 2022, and a pre-trial for O'Leary's husband is set for July as well.