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Couple Sentenced to Jail for Starving Child

Mother gets 9-year prison sentence; Father gets 7 years. Is the sentence enough? Vote in our poll.

A mother and father accused of starving their newborn child to death in 2010 have been sentenced to jail.

Lewis Gordon IV, 30, will serve a 7-year prison term and Ashley Gordon, 28, will serve 9 years, according to the Post and Courier. The couple pleaded guilty to the homicide by neglect charges on Tuesday.

At the time of their arrest, police reported that the Mount Pleasant couple's home was in squalor and that their 9-month-old son was nearly two pounds lighter than when he came home from the hospital, according to Live 5 News.

In court Thursday, the couple's attorney pleaded for mercy, according ABC News 4. The Gordon's lives were chaotic as they battled financial woes, their attorney said. Charles Gordon was apparently suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder associated with military combat service.

The mother told the judge she didn't grasp the "serious" state of her son's health, Live 5 reported. Prosecutors allege the child suffered from "marasmus," a serious malnourishment often found in children who do not consume enough calories or protein.

The child had only been to the doctor once since it was born. The couple said they couldn't afford medical care because neither had health insurance.

On Thursday, Circuit Court Judge J.C. Nicholson said the couple should have known something was wrong with their child and acted. The couple has two other children who were apparently healthy. They were removed from the Gordon's care at the time of their arrest.

JoSCh August 16, 2012 at 04:52 PM
We have this thing called Medicaid, and it was invented for cases just like this. It's pretty hard to qualify for. I think if a working couple each makes $13 an hour they make too much. I'm not really sure what a longer sentence would accomplish. Hell, I don't know what this "shockingly light" sentence will accomplish.
Fisher August 16, 2012 at 05:39 PM
I agree with you, JoSCh. A longer sentence doesn't bring the child back or make this couple more or less likely to do this again. But I think the fact that this kid died shows willful disregard for life. Kids survive malnutrition all over the globe, and the fact that the parents looked pretty healthy shows there was no real lack of food. They just were ignoring this child's basic needs. I see your point, but this life is just as innocent as a robbery or DUI crash victim. I guess disgust isn't a reason to add on years, eh?
lhops August 17, 2012 at 12:15 PM
A longer sentence doesn't bring the victim back in any murder case, but it does send an important message to all. Starving an infant is murder, and they should have been sentenced accordingly.
Ken Young August 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Some people just should not have kids. The sentence was too light. This sentence is just a small example of how no one is held accountable for their actions anymore.
Greymom August 18, 2012 at 12:50 AM
They'll both be out in 3 yrs. Like the baby was just another peice of garbage, no value. They obviously never missed a meal..

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