A Kansas woman who claimed she “lost it” after her two-year-old son refused to eat his hot dog has been sentenced to 19 years behind bars for beating him to death.
Elizabeth Woolheater, 24, of Wichita, received her sentence Friday after pleading guilty in August to charges of second-degree murder and two counts of child abuse in connection with the death of Anthony “Tony” Bunn in May 2018, the Wichita Eagle reported.
Tony’s grandmother, Nancy Woolheater, told the Eagle that she hopes her daughter gets help in prison.
“If he was here, I think the only question he would have for you is, ‘Why?’” the grandmother said, according to the paper. “‘Why, mommy? Why didn’t you protect me? Why didn’t you love me enough? I loved you.’”
The boy died two days after his mother and Elizabeth Woolheater’s boyfriend, Lucas Diehl, hit the boy until he fell unconscious, the Associated Press reported. Diehl denied playing a role in hitting the boy and was sentenced to 49 years in prison.
Elizabeth Woolheater apologized in court for playing a role in her son’s abuse.
“I know that I’ll never be able to make up for or undo the mistakes I made,” she said.
The Department of Children and Families was alerted of the boy’s abuse before he died, according to court records.