A 4-year-old Ohio boy died after his stepmother, Anna Ritchie, bathed him in a tub of 134-degree fiery hot water as punishment. While suffering in great pain from his injuries, the boy’s father, Robert Ritchie, ignored his cries throughout the night and totally did nothing to save him.
It was said that the “evil” stepmom punished little Austin Cooper because she simply resented having to take care of him. To get a picture of how cruel she was to Austin, court documents detailed how Anna Ritchie hurt the boy which led to his unjust death.
Based on the papers, Anna decided to bathe Austin in a tub in their home. However, the bathtub was filled with very hot water and she forced the child into it. She held him in place to make sure he will remain submerged for at least 20 minutes.
The prosecutor handling the case said that when Anna Ritchie finally let the boy out of the tub, the 4-year-old was bleeding and crying so much. His skin was badly blistered and already peeling off from his legs. After the painful bath, Anna put Austin to bed, without any treatment for his injuries.
For the horrible things that she did to her stepson, 25-year-old Anna Ritchie was sentenced to 18 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter, endangering children and felonious assault. She was indicted in April last year, a month after Austin’s death.
Visibly outraged due to what happened to her grandson, maternal grandmother Sheri Gredig said that “Anna Ritchie is pure evil” and that she deserves to be behind bars for life.
At any rate, during the investigation, Anna told the police that she did not pay attention to Austin’s cries while in bed. She also confessed to instructing her husband, Robert Ritchie III, not to check the boy either.
The morning came and Robert finally went to his son’s room but he was shocked to find him lifeless. He immediately called 911 and told them he thinks his son died.
“He is stiff as a board,” he told the dispatcher in between sobs.
In a report that appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune, the county coroner revealed that Austin died of shock since he lost a lot of blood and fluids from his burns.
David Fornshell, Warren County prosecutor, mentioned that the boy could have lived if only he was brought to the hospital. In fact, he had 95 percent chance of surviving with proper treatment.
While Anna is already serving her time in prison, Robert Ritchie is not yet off the hook. More than a year after his wife was imprisoned, Robert was finally put in jail as well.
On Tuesday, Oct. 10, Robert Ritchie was given a 7-year imprisonment sentence for involuntary manslaughter and child endangering. Judge Robert Peeler explained that the father did not get medical help for Austin and his inaction resulted in the death of his son.
“The question that kept me awake at night is: why did you not check on this little boy, your son, Austin, as he lay there for 14 hours while you sat in there and watched television?” Judge Peeler asked Robert during the sentencing.
Lastly, the judge noted that Robert showed no remorse but the latter’s lawyer, Frank Schiavone IV, keeps saying otherwise. He added that Robert is a “gentle” man who has been living in misery since Austin’s death so they are planning to appeal the court decision.
Watch the video when Anna Ritchie pleads guilty and sentenced to 18 years in prison.
[Featured Image by Franklin Ohio Police Department/Facebook]