New trial denied for Cape Coral mother who starved her toddler to death


FORT MYERS, Fla. – A Cape Coral mother will wait to learn on her fate for the 2019 death of her toddler following a continuance in her sentencing.

On Monday, the judge denied Sheila O’leary’s attorney’s motion for a new trial.

After denying the new trial motion, Judge Bruce Kyle granted O’Leary’s attorneys request for a continuance on her sentencing, due to him not receiving the pre-sentencing investigation paperwork.

Sheila O’leary will now face the judge next Friday, August 26th.

O’Leary was found guilty in July of first-degree murder after her child died of starvation in September of 2019.

She was also charged with aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child, two counts of child neglect, and one count of child abuse.

RELATED STORY: Cape Coral mother found guilty of first-degree murder after child starved to death


Sheila and her husband Ryan Patrick O’Leary were accused of starving their 18-month-old child to death. Three other children, 3, 5, and 11, were also found to be abused and neglected, according to the State’s Attorney Office. One child even needed to have teeth removed due to tooth decay.

According to the arrest report, the infant was born in the home and had never seen a doctor. The couple had told police that the family was vegan and only ate fruit and vegetables. The infant only weighed 17 pounds when it died.

She was originally scheduled to be sentenced on July 25th, but a pre-sentencing investigation was not completed. The sentencing was pushed back to August 8th and delayed again until today.

O’Leary had previously rejected a 30-year plea deal proposed by the state.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Cape Coral father facing charges for child’s death hit with new molestation charges

Ryan O’Leary will be back in court in September. This comes after the state says it has evidence that he molested one of the other children around 2019.

Tags: Cape CoralFort MyerssentencedSheila O’Learystarvation


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