Tulsa Woman Handed Life Sentence For Severe Neglect Of Special Needs Child
TULSA, Oklahoma - A 5-year-old special needs child who was nearly starved to death is recovering and her mother is behind bars.
It's a case we've been following for two years and the judge handed down a life sentence Tuesday.
It's the sentence prosecutors were hoping for since the neglect was as close to death as it gets.
It was day two of testimony — an emotional day in court on this horrible child abuse case.
The girl was so frail that she weighed just 19 pounds.
She has Cerebral Palsy and the district attorney's office said DHS had at least nine referrals, but had trouble investigating because her mother wouldn't cooperate.
Christina Calhoun finally called 911 after giving birth to another child, because the girl was almost dead.
The DA's office said the neglect lasted for at least several months.
"Lying in a bed, in the dark, in a filthy home that had bugs and roaches crawling on her body. Not being fed, starving, crying, scared," said Andrea Brown, Assistant Tulsa County District Attorney.
Judge Bill LaFortune said "I don't believe a life sentence is cruel. The starvation of a special needs child is cruel."
Now, the DA's office said the 7 year old is alive because of intravenous feeding, but that's slowly killing her liver so she won't live as long as she could have because of the abuse.
"She took this child's life. Because when she was in this severe state of neglect, dehydration and starvation, her gut died. Her muscles wasted away, her organs wasted away," Brown said.
She now weighs nearly 50 pounds and she's been adopted into a loving home.
Calhoun's husband, Victor Castro-Huerto, was sentenced 35 years in October by a jury.