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Judge Suspends Jail Sentence On Mother

Last updated on Thursday, June 4, 2009

(INDIANAPOLIS) - An Indianapolis judge has imposed a suspended 18-year prison sentence for the mother of an 11-year-old girl whose 2nd and 3rd degree burns went untreated for two weeks.

Sharon Wessell must meet the terms of unsupervised probation for ten years, including parenting classes and a mental evaluation.

Doctors say the injured girl, Heather Wessell, was at risk of losing her legs because of the burns sustained when her pajama bottoms caught fire the night before Christmas.

A concerned neighbor called police.

A spokesman for the Marion County prosecutor's office says the girl is responding to treatment now and recovering from her injuries.

An outburst from other family members disrupted the sentencing hearing.

They were apparently angered by the prosecution of the case after Wessell's husband and co-defendant, Frederick Wessell, died in the Marion County Jail after their arrest.

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