After an Ohio woman scalded her 4-year-old stepson to death in a bathtub, both she and her husband, the boy’s father, were convicted in his death, Crime Online reported.
The boy’s father, Robert Ritchie, 32, was sentenced to seven years in prison on Tuesday for failing to get medical help for his son, Austin Cooper, in his 2016 death. His wife, Anna Ritchie, was previously sentenced to 18 years to life after pleading guilty to charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault and endangering children charges.
Prosecutors alleged that Anna Ritchie held Austin in 135-degree water for 20-25 minutes because she resented being his primary caregiver, according to WXIX.
Robert Ritchie came home shortly after the assault and did not care for his son, prosecutors claimed.
“The question that kept me awake at night is: why did you not check on this little boy, your son, Austin, as he lay there for 14 hours while you sat in there and watched television?” Judge Robert Peeler asked.
Robert Ritchie was convicted on Aug. 25 of child endangering and involuntary manslaughter, despite his attorney’s defense that he had “married a murderer” who hid Austin’s burns with socks and a blanket as the boy lay in his crib.
“There is nothing Robert Ritchie could have done to save the child, based on Anna Ritchie’s testimony,” Defense attorney Frank Schiavone III said. “The child was already in heaven.”
Schiavone said that Ritchie will appeal the ruling.