Going Away For Life: Mother Sentenced for Starving Son to Death

Going Away For Life: Mother Sentenced for Starving Son to Death

(UnitedVoice.com) – There are some basic responsibilities every person has when they become a parent. At the top of that list is feeding the child and keeping them alive. One mom didn’t get the memo. Now, she will spend the rest of her life behind bars.

In May, 29-year-old Elizabeth Archibeque issued a guilty plea in the horrific first-degree murder of her 6-year-old child, Deshaun Martinez. She locked Deshaun and his 7-year-old brother up in a closet in a Flagstaff, Arizona, apartment for 16 hours a day. The boys also had a 2-year-old sibling. The abuse continued for a month, and she barely gave the children anything to eat.

According to an autopsy, Deshaun only weighed 18 pounds when he died from starvation. Police stated that Archibeque and the deceased child’s father, Anthony Martinez, initially claimed the boy died because he had a medical condition. They also said he was taking diet pills. But officers stated the parents punished the 6- and 7-year-olds because they ate food while the adults slept.

Deshaun’s past medical history showed he’d been hospitalized for sepsis and a urinary tract infection when he was just two weeks old. After every feed, he threw up. Doctors told the two adults how to help him gain weight. When he was 4 years old, he weighed 34 pounds. However, he began dropping weight, and by age 6, he weighed as much as he did when he was just a year old.

During testimony on July 27, Melissa Seay, a Flagstaff police detective, told Coconino Superior Court Judge Ted Reed that she had never witnessed anything “so horrific” in her life, saying Deshaun was “just bones” when she found him. The judge sentenced Archibeque to prison for the “rest of [her] natural life” and said she’d engaged in “heinous, cruel and depraved behavior.”

Deshaun’s father and paternal grandmother, Ann Martinez, have pleaded not guilty to murder and child abuse charges.

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