Utah prosecutors are in an uproar after a foster mom from hell has been given a slap-on-the-wrist sentence after she allegedly beat to death a defenseless two-year-old boy in her care, The U.S. Sun reports.
In 2018, little Lucas Call was found unresponsive in the Utah home the boy shared with his reportedly nightmarish foster mom.
The allegedly murderously violent foster mom, Lisa Jo Vanderlinden, 42, who is a nurse and hails from Neola, Utah, was promptly arrested in the wake of the small boy’s demise.Utah medical examiners would determine that the foster boy died as a result of major internal injuries and blunt force trauma — allegedly inflicted upon him by none other than his foster mom.
But Vanderlinden was given a year behind bars, followed by 14 years on probation, outraging prosecutors.According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the foster mom, who has been ordered to pay a $10,000 fine, was initially slapped with aggravated murder charges for allegedly killing the little boy. But then she entered into a plea deal with the Utah court system.This brought down her charges to first-degree felony child abuse homicide.
The plea deal allowed the foster mom to skirt taking responsibility for abusing the boy to death, and instead had her merely admitting to the Utah courts that she behaved recklessly when she neglected to take him to the doctor promptly after he was so gravely injured. Utah prosecutors had accused the foster mom of beating the little boy severely.
A rueful Judge Samuel Chiara stated in the sentencing hearing on Wednesday that due to the plea deal, he was unable to send Vanderlinden to prison — this after, as he noted, the evidence presented against her at the preliminary hearing was “fairly damning.”
Chiara went so far as to state that the foster mom’s sentence was the most difficult he’d ever had to hand down. He indicated that he wished there had been a trial so that the truth about what the Utah resident did to the little boy could come fully to light.
“We do not know the truth,” the judge stated, according to Crime Online. “I don’t know the truth of this situation.”According to Utah prosecutors, the foster mom turned violent after the little boy started “acting out.”
Family members would report that they heard Vanderlinden yelling at Lucas. Next she took the boy into the bathroom to vomit and a loud bang emanated from within.
The next day, Utah police came to the foster mom’s home. They found that the little boy was dead.Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, KSL News Radio reports, was outraged by the outcome of the prosecution against Vanderlinden. His office had pushed for the maximum sentence for her: five years to life in prison.
“It’s a travesty and undermines the confidence of the public in our justice system’s ability to protect kids from abuse and homicide,” says Reyes. “We are at a loss as to why the court ruled the way it did.”