This afternoon, Sheila O’Leary was found guilty as charged of First Degree Murder, Aggravated Child Abuse, Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child, two counts of Child Neglect, and one count of Child Abuse. The jury deliberated for just over three hours before returning the guilty verdict following a five-day trial in Lee County.
Sheila O’Leary and her husband, co-defendant, Ryan Patrick O’Leary, were indicted by a Lee County Grand Jury, convened by State Attorney Amira Fox, on December 18, 2019.
The first victim in this case is an 18-month-old child who died on September 27, 2019, in Cape Coral. The evidence shown at trial proved the child died due to complications from severe malnutrition and dehydration.
The three other victims, were 3-year-old, 5-year-old,and 11-year-old girls, who also suffered from extreme neglect and child abuse.
Assistant State Attorney Francine Donnorummo, Special Victims Unit Chief, and Assistant State Attorney Sara Miller, of the State Attorney’s Office Homicide Unit, prosecuted the case.
The Cape Coral Police Department investigated the case with the assistance of the Children’s Advocacy Center.
Sentencing for Sheila O’Leary is scheduled for July 25, 2022.
A pre-trial conference is set for July, for co-defendant Ryan O’Leary.
Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office