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Published: Wednesday, 12/21/2005

Parent gets 2 years in abuse case

A Toledo woman convicted of twisting the arms and fracturing the skull of her 6-week-old son was suffering from anxiety and depression when she heard voices that told her to hurt the infant, a Lucas County common pleas judge said yesterday.

Judge Jack Zouhary said the actions of Karen Wilson in deliberately inflicting injuries on her own son were difficult to understand, and he struggled in trying to determine the appropriate sentence.

"I think you have the potential to be a better mother. You will rise above what has occurred to you to make it better and not worse," said Judge Zouhary, who sentenced Wilson to two years in prison.

On Nov. 21, Wilson, 18, of 1010 Bowlus Ave., Apt. 12, pleaded no contest to and was found guilty of one count of child endangering.

Wilson initially told investigators her son, Francis, rolled off a changing table and fell about 2 1/2 feet to the floor in her home. She also said she grabbed her son's arm about three weeks earlier when he fell from the same table.

However, doctors in St. Anne Mercy Hospital, where the baby was treated, said the injuries were inconsistent with a fall, and fractures to one of the arms were healing, indicating the breaks were not recent.

Wilson later told her husband, Francis, she pulled, twisted, and stomped the baby's arm in response to voices she heard in her head, and she kept hurting the child until the voices stopped, said Lori Olender, an assistant county prosecutor.

Wilson was evaluated by court psychologists who determined she was competent to stand trial and didn't meet the requirements to be found guilty by reason of insanity.

The sentence from Judge Zouhary was the minimum for the offense. She could have been sentenced to eight years in prison. Judge Zouhary said he would consider a request for early release.

Lucas County Children Services was given temporary custody of the baby and the couple's 2-year-old child. They have been placed in foster care.



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