Jury Deliberates Murder Charge In Child Starvation Trial

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Denver (AP) A woman accused of starving a 7-year-old boy last year has pleaded guilty today to second-degree murder as jurors began deliberating charges against her boyfriend on the same case.

Twenty-three-year-old Sarah Berry entered her plea a day before her trial and faces up to 48 years in prison when she is sentenced in September. She faced the same charges as 27-year-old Jon Phillips in the starvation death of Chandler Grafner, who weighed 34 pounds when he died.

Berry's charges were dropped in exchange for her plea.

Jurors are expected to continue deliberations in Phillips' case tomorrow. He is charged with first-degree murder for knowingly causing the death of a child under 12, fatal child abuse and tampering with evidence.

Prosecutors said in closing arguments today that Phillips starved Grafner and kept him in a closet the final weeks of his life.

Phillips was the boy's guardian but not his biological father.

Phillips' defense attorneys say Chandler died of acute diabetes that went undetected.

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