Texas mom who put fetus in fridge gets 10 years

/ Source: The Associated Press

A mother of nine who was charged after a dead fetus was found in the refrigerator of her filthy home was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for endangering her children.

Gloria Ramirez, who is eight months pregnant, was convicted Thursday of child injury and endangerment. The 28-year-old was ordered to serve 10 years on a child injury conviction and two years for each of six endangerment charges. Each sentence will be served concurrently.

Prosecutor Jennifer Bassett said she believed the sentence was "completely appropriate."

Defense attorney Ted Hogan said in an e-mail that he was disappointed by the sentence, calling it a "tragic case." He had said in closing statements that his client "was probably going to be convicted" but urged jurors to grant probation instead of prison so that her children could easily visit their mother.

Police came to Ramirez's home in 2007 after her husband, Anthony Moya, called a funeral home about a casket for a stillborn infant. Authorities found the fetus in a baby wipe box, placed inside a refrigerator.

Investigators also found dirty diapers stacked nearly 4 feet high in closets throughout the house, decaying food around the home, overflowed trash bins, and bare and soiled mattresses.

Children removed
According to testimony, Ramirez blamed her children on her miscarriage, telling them they weren't letting her sleep.

She also threatened their lives if they told anyone about the conditions inside the home, one child testified.

Moya was arrested on seven child endangerment charges on the day that seven of the children were removed. His trial was set to begin this month.

Ramirez was indicted on seven child endangerment charges in December 2007. In April, a Lubbock County grand jury added four counts of injury to a child involving the two youngest children, but prosecutors asked jurors to consider only one count of injury to a child and six counts of child endangerment.

Five of the children were 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. The couple's twins, born May 2008, were in temporary state custody.