Marie Jeanne Horton, 30, a former nurse, has reportedly been taken to prison over charges of child abuse after it came out that she had been punishing her young son and daughter in some rather unorthodox ways.
Horton, who is from Richmond, Texas, pleaded guilty to second-degree felony charges of Injury to a Child by Recklessly Causing Serious Bodily Injury on June 4 and Fort Bend County Judge Frank Fraley is the one who handled the sentencing.
The woman had reportedly forced her children to submerge their feet in scalding hot water, to the point that they received third-degree burns.
Authorities did not take lightly to the attacks committed by the woman, as she has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Reports indicate that it all started when the mother heard that her boy was allegedly responsible for triggering the fire alarm at his school.
She forced her 7-year-old adoptive son to stand in scalding water until he suffered severe burns on his feet. The extent of the damage was so severe that the boy’s skin was allegedly falling off his feet.
School officials were the first to notice that something was wrong after the child skipped school. When someone went to the family’s home to check on him, the mother downplayed the situation and said that as a nurse, she was able to take care of him.
The boy’s father, Christopher Funderburg, 30, took him to the emergency ward after seeing the burns on his son’s feet in pictures taken by the CPS worker. He was not home at the time of the incident.
Funderburg was sentenced to two years of community supervision after he pled guilty to the offense of Attempted Tampering with a Witness. The father had asked the children to lie to investigators.
The woman was subsequently investigated, and allegations have come out that this was far from the first time she had “disciplined” her children in such horrifying manners.
However, this was the first time authorities have been able to act on reports that they have received about the situation.
The children are now reportedly in foster care after their paternal grandparents failed to respect an adoption agreement which prevented them from being in direct contact with the parents without supervision.
Prosecutor Claire Andresen said in a statement: “There is a difference between punishing a child and abusing a child. When discipline escalates to the point, it causes injuries so severe to require surgery – that is abuse. It is important for children to understand that it is never their fault when they are abused and that if they come forward, we will work to protect them.”
Assistant District Attorney Jenna Rudoff told court officials: “Without the school administrators and medical professionals involved in this case, this child’s injuries may have gone untreated. They worked hard to uncover the truth of what happened to this child and to keep him safe.”
Horton was unsure she would have done things differently when she was asked if she had done something wrong. She made that statement as close friends and relatives were trying to defend her “lapse in judgment” in court.