A 44-year-old woman from Dallas, Texas has been convicted to 85 years in jail for the death of her stepson.
Tina Marie Alberson did not allow the 10-year-old boy to drink water for days in a row, which eventually resulted in his death.
44-year-old Alberson was convicted of injuring a child on Friday, January 18. In 2011, she punished her stepson Jonathan James, by denying him water, during the scorching month of July, in North Texas.
Her crime is listed as a second-degree felony, New York Daily News notes. Nonetheless, she had been convicted of felony charges before. In 1998, she ran someone over in her car, and was found guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Alberson confessed to letting her son die, during her testimony in court. She explained that she wanted to teach him a lesson after he misbehaved.
During “time-outs,” she would make him stand while displaying a container of water, and taunting him with the fact that he wasn't allowed any.
Her husband and the boy's father, 43-year-old Michael Ray James, was aware of the situation, and has also been charged. He is awaiting his trial, which is set for February.
Their other son, Jonathan's twin, testified to the abusive behavior of his stepmother. He described how the young boy kept telling her he was thirsty.
At one point, he lied about needing to use the bathroom, and attempted to drink water directly from the faucet. He was caught and made to leave the restroom. His brother expressed that he wished he would have intervened, but was too scared to do so.
Prosecutors told the jury that there were safer ways to discipline Jonathan, which did not imply depriving him of “the basic necessities of life.” Grounding could have been accompanied by denying him the use of a TV.