WICHITA, Kansas – It’s the horrific story out of Kansas, where a mother was convicted of murdering her 2-year-old son… because he refused to eat a hot dog.
The Wichita Eagle reported that 24-year-old Elizabeth Woolheater of Wichita was found guilty of murder and child abuse and now faces 19 years behind bars for her horrendous crimes.
Little Anthony “Tony” Bunn died a horrible death when his mom “lost it” in May 2018, prosecutors said.
It began when Woolheater and her boyfriend, Lucas Diel, were feeding the toddler. But when he refused to eat the hot dog that they had prepared him, Woolheater apparently snapped.
The affidavit in her case noted that she confessed to police that she became enraged when he wouldn’t eat his food. She told investigators that she “lost it” and slapped Tony in the face. Diel allegedly held the food in the toddler’s mouth while the young mother hit her son again.
It’s unclear what exactly transpired after that, but Woolheater said that she continued to hear Diel striking the young boy after she left the room.
The child was beaten until he was unconscious. When police arrived, they discovered the toddler lying on the floor, not breathing and unresponsive. He was rushed to the hospital for immediate medical treatment but tragically died two days later, the newspaper reported.
The couple reportedly told police that he had been hurt when he fell out of bed. Additional injuries suggested that the abuse may have been happening frequently, including past bruising, a broken nose arm and rib, police said.
On Friday, Woolheater was handed down her prison sentence for murder and child abuse after she pled guilty to the charges.
She was told that she’ll spend the next 19 years behind bars.
“Tony was under your charge. And your job was to raise him and protect him,” the judge said to Woolheater when he handed down the sentence. “Neither the rule of law nor the community tolerates this kind of harm done to our children.”
Her 26-year-old boyfriend was also convicted for his role in the brutal fatal beating. He is currently serving a sentence of 49 years in prison.
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Woolheater addressed the court for her role in her young son’s death.
“I know that I’ll never be able to make up for or undo the mistakes I made,” she said. “I do want it to be known that I did love Tony — and I still do — with all my heart.”
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Little Tony’s grandmother spoke out about the vicious killing from the young parents. She says she hopes that he daughter gets the help she so desperately needs while serving her prison sentence.
“If he was here, I think the only question he would have for you is, ‘Why?’” the grandmother said, according to the Wichita Eagle. “‘Why, mommy? Why didn’t you protect me? Why didn’t you love me enough? I loved you.’”