Couple who starved baby given suspended sentence

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by KYLE MOORE / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 3, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 3 at 5:16 PM

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SEATTLE - A King County Superior Court judge on Friday sentenced a Bellevue couple, accused of starving their baby, to a 12 month suspended jail sentence. The judge warned if the parents don't make progress, they could face jail time. 

Brittainy and Samuel Labberton pleaded guilty to criminal mistreatment of their infant child. According to prosecutors, Child Protective Services took their child away from the couple in 2008 after social workers determined the child was severely underweight.

Court papers indicate that when she was confronted, Brittainy said "Oh My God, she is fat ... I have a fat baby."

CPS says the child was under the 50th percentile in weight.

According to the charging documents, CPS found the couple giving the infant a baby bottle with traces of laxatives.

In 2008, CPS took custody of the couple's other daughter.

Brittainy is pregnant with her third child. Prosecutors asked the court to order CPS to seize custody of this child when it is born. A judge denied the request in July.

"I wish this whole thing would not have happened. I wish I would have known better. I do love my girls. I love my unborn son. I want to make my family whole again," said Brittainy.

"There is no greater responsibility, your honor, than being a parent. These two defendants abandoned that responsibility and harmed their kid," said Senior Deputy Prosecutor Sean O'Donnell.

The couple's attorneys say the Labbertons have been going to counseling and parenting classes to deal with their issues.

Currently, the couple receives supervised visits with their children who are reportedly healthy and doing well in foster care.

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