Woman pleads guilty to neglecting boy who weighed only 54 pounds at 16 years of age

CENTRALIA, Wash. (AP) — The second of two suspects accused in December of neglecting a boy found at 16 years old weighing 54 pounds and with numerous neglect-related illnesses has pleaded guilty.

Mary G. Foxworth, 43, pleaded guilty Monday morning in Lewis County Superior Court to one count of criminal mistreatment in the first-degree.

Last Wednesday, her husband, Anthony S. Foxworth, 45, pleaded guilty to the same charge.

They are both scheduled to be sentenced in Lewis County Superior Court on Nov. 1. The Lewis County Prosecutor's Office plans to ask for a sentence of 51 months, or just over 4 years in prison, for each of them.

Both Foxworths are currently out of police custody

According to court documents, Mary and Anthony Foxworth were accused of causing "great bodily harm" to one of the children in their care between January 2007 and January 2016.

Law enforcement became aware of the neglect in January 2016 after the Foxworths reportedly took the boy to doctors reporting that he hadn't eaten in three weeks. The boy was unable to talk and weighed 54 pounds. Doctors assumed his age to be 8 to 10 based on his size.

He was later transferred to Mary Bridge Children's Hospital where doctors discovered he had the skeletal age of a 13-year-old, was missing patches of hair, could not stand and could not open his mouth far enough for a doctor to check his throat. He had 24 teeth in need of cavity repair, root canals, crowns or extraction.

He was diagnosed with severe malnutrition, severe constipation, an intestinal blockage, anemia and neglect. A doctor also diagnosed him has having "psychosocial dwarfism," a syndrome linked to neglect, according to court documents.

"Wow. Where do I start? This is a very sad story for this very precious child," a Mary Bridge doctor is quoted as saying in court documents.

Investigators learned the boy hadn't been to a doctor since 2007 and hadn't gone to school since 2011.

Two other children in the Foxworths' care were in good condition, according to court documents.

The Foxworths initially denied any wrongdoing, saying the boy was starving himself because he was depressed.

In the first year after being removed from the Foxworths' care, the boy reportedly gained 93 pounds and 3.25 inches and learned to take part in numerous social activities for the first time with his foster family.