A Port Orange woman on Friday was sentenced to 10 years in prison for doing nothing to intervene when her husband fatally stabbed one of their sons and wounded another.
Deanna Beauchamp De Jesus, 38, pleaded guilty in her aggravated manslaughter case as part of an agreement struck with the Broward State Attorney’s Office. Her prison sentence will be followed by five years of probation.
Prosecutors faulted De Jesus for failing to act as a protector and intervene earlier this year, when her husband, William De Jesus, stabbed 9-year-old Josiah to death and tried to kill their other son, now 8, inside an RV in Deerfield Beach.
William De Jesus killed himself along with Josiah and Ovila Plante, 76, one of the owners of the RV the killer randomly chose.
Broward Assistant State Attorney Gregg Rossman said he thinks De Jesus’ sentence was a “fair and just result.”
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“I don't think life in prison for her part of the crime, quite honestly, was appropriate,” Rossman said in an interview after Friday’s hearing.
De Jesus' defense lawyer, Terrence Moons, said his client understood the terms of the sentencing agreement.
“She's OK, all things considered,” Moons said. “And she can move on with her life.”
With Friday's 10-year sentence, De Jesus will receive credit for the time she served in jail.
At the time of his slaying, Josiah still required diapers and didn't speak, prosecutors said. The other son managed to survive by fighting back in a way his older brother could not.
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The name of the younger son is being withheld at the request of the state Department of Children & Families, which placed him in foster care.
Anne Alper, an attorney for the boy who survived, on Friday said that Deanna De Jesus won’t be allowed to see the boy again. Alper said the boy was expected to be adopted by “a loving family.”
“This child has gone through horrific events, as we know from the trial,” Alper said. “He is able to redeem his childhood now, and that is what's important.”
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