Summarized by Kent Larsen
Mother Who Starved Girl Sentenced to Prison
Salt Lake Tribune 7Dec99 D2
By Stephen Hunt: Salt Lake Tribune
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- A mother whose malnourished 6-year-old girl ran
away last March and went door-to-door begging for food was sentenced to
up to five years in prison Monday. The child ran away from a van where
she had been left by her abusive mother while the mother was going to
see an LDS Bishop to get food.
Lezlee Magee, as Mormon-News reported in March, was abused as a wife and
as a child. She was the parent of four children, including the
6-year-old girl, Kayla, and three sons as well as a 19-year-old adult.
She has given up all parental rights to the children.
When Magee's defense attorney argued for probation, prosecutor James
Cope said that Magee deserved a prison sentence for her abuse,
"Starvation is the most abject form of neglect -- to deny the existence
of a child while she's still here." The Judge agreed with the
prosecution, sentencing her to up to 5 years, following Magee's guilty
plea to third-degree felony child abuse.
Magee had been convicted before, in 1991, of misdemeanor child abuse in
the death of a 5-week-old daughter. The Salt Lake Tribune article
details the abuse Kayla suffered and how she escaped, as well as her
current status. The prosecutor reports that Kayla is doing well now.