DALLAS (AP) — A Texas father accused of slowly starving his 10-year-old son to death, slipping his body into a sleeping bag and dumping it in a rural area where it went undiscovered for a year was sentenced late Tuesday to life in prison.
A Dallas County jury took less than an hour to convict Aaron Ramsey earlier Tuesday of severely injuring a child in the death of his son, Johnathan. Jurors later decided that the 35-year-old Dallas man should receive a life sentence.
Prosecutors said the father locked his son in his room, where he slowly starved on a diet of bread and water. They contend Ramsey dumped the child's emaciated body in a rural area south of Dallas in 2011. The boy's remains were found in the area a year ago in a creek.
Aaron Ramsey allegedly told police he limited the boy's meals to bread, water and sometimes milk for several months. According to police records, the boy was confined to his bedroom in the family's Dallas home.
The boy's mother, Judy Williams, and other relatives did not see him for months. Williams lives in New Mexico and has custody of the couple's other son, according to relatives.
Johnathan's grandfather, Edward Ramsey, had contacted police early last year to ask them to search for the child because he had not seen the boy for more than a year.
Police said Aaron and Elizabeth Ramsey, the child's stepmother, initially claimed the boy had gone to live with his mother but later confessed to starving the boy to death.
According to police, Aaron Ramsey said he put his son on "military rations" because the boy began to misbehave early last year. Ramsey said the boy had punched his stepmother in the stomach when she was pregnant, causing a miscarriage. Ramsey said he hit Johnathan in the chest and then locked him in a bedroom, according to the records.
Johnathan was found lying on the bedroom floor in August, according to court records. Aaron Ramsey told detectives he changed his son into his favorite T-shirt, placed him into a sleeping bag and inserted a dryer sheet to mask the smell of his body, the records said.
Elizabeth Ramsey also is charged with the crime and will be tried separately.