By Calvin Palmer
A 28-year-old Texas mother of nine arrested after police found a dead fetus stored in the refrigerator of her filthy home was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison.
Gloria Ramirez, who is eight months pregnant, looked down as the sentence was read.
A jury in Lubbock sentenced her to 10 years for the one child injury conviction and two years each for six child endangerment convictions. Each sentence, the maximum allowable, will be served concurrently.
Police came to the couple’s home in 2007 after her common-law husband, Anthony Moya, called a funeral home about a casket for a stillborn infant. The fetus had been placed in a baby wipe box and in a refrigerator.
When police officers arrived they found rodents, roaches, dirty diapers stacked in closets, moldy food and trash covering most floors.
Ramirez’s eldest child, her 11-year-old daughter, testified on Thursday that her mother threatened to kill her and her siblings if they told anyone about the filthy conditions.
Prosecutor Jennifer Bassett said she believed jurors delivered a “completely appropriate” sentence.
“Clearly, the jury finds a mother’s role with her children is important and, obviously a role that should be taken seriously,” she said.
Defense attorney Ted Hogan said he was disappointed by the sentence.
“This has been a tragic case from its inception,” Hogan said. “It is our sincere hope that we as a community can refocus our attention on the conditions that led us to this point, and in doing so, avoid similar tragedies in the future.”
Five of the children removed from the home the day of the miscarriage are in the state’s permanent custody.
The oldest child is with her biological father and a family is in the process of adopting the youngest child.
Ramirez gave birth to twins in May 2008. They are in temporary state custody.
Moya was arrested on seven child endangerment charges the day the children were removed. His trial is scheduled to begin later this month.
[Based on a report by the Houston Chronicle.]