A Washington woman was found guilty on Friday for putting bleach in her child's eye. The woman, ironically named Jennifer Mothershead, was found guilty of first-degree child assault. Jurors also found aggravating factors that proved Mothershead exhibited deliberate cruelty to her child, amounting to torture.
In May of 2011, Mothershead's daughter, who was 14 months, was airlifted to a Seattle hospital. In addition to finding that the child had serious head injuries, doctors found that she had a severe eye infection, which caused her to go blind in her right eye. Mothershead claimed the infection was from eye drops she was given, but after the drops were sent to a forensic chemistry lab, it was determined that the drops contained bleach. Mothershead never offered any explanation on why her daughter's head was injured. The doctors became suspicious, and she was arrested shortly thereafter.
A clear motive is still yet to be determined, but the county prosecutor said of Mothershead, "By torturing her child, she was able to get both financial support and sympathy for herself." In other words, Munchausen by Proxy. Sick. Sick, sick, sick.
Here's an idea. If Mothershead (god, I hate calling her by her last name) wanted sympathy from people, why didn't she torture herself instead of her defenseless child who couldn't tell her to stop? And here's an even better idea: Why don't the punishments for these types of crimes become harsher than they always seem to be? The prosecutor is requesting a sentence of 30 to 50 years in prison, but we all know that likely won't happen. Fifty years in prison for doing something this physically and emotionally damaging? I think that sounds about right. It would probably stop a lot of other people from senselessly hurting children. And if it didn't, at least we know justice is (somewhat) being served.
What do you think of this?
Image via Pierce County Sheriff's Office