Ohio mom of boy, 7, who tried to sell teddy bear for food is sentenced

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LEBANON, Ohio — The Ohio mother of a 7-year-old boy who police say was found trying to sell a stuffed animal to buy food has been sentenced to six months in jail.

The ordeal began back in August when the little boy was spotted outside a CVS trying to sell his teddy bear in order to buy food for himself and his four brothers, CNN reports.

The boy told an officer in September he hadn’t eaten for days.

Tammi Bethel and her husband Michael Bethel were later arrested. Both pleaded guilty last month to child endangering charges.

The mother was sentenced Friday in Franklin Municipal Court in southwestern Ohio to six months in jail.

She faced up to two and a half years, and although the judge noted it was the seventh time her children were removed from her household, she was given a six-month sentence.

“She accepted responsibility for everything that happens,” her lawyer told CNN. “Honestly she was charged with five counts, we got it down to two counts, and honestly it could have been way worse.

Bethel was taken to the hospital afterward after falling ill, possibly from the flu and anxiety, defense attorney David Chicarelli said. She is now looking forward to reuniting with her children after serving her time.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal News reports Michael Bethel was not sentenced Friday because he was also in the hospital. A message was left with his attorney.

The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.

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