A young Bowie mother was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday for failing to call authorities or seek medical help for her young son who was beaten to death by her boyfriend in 2010 in Denton County.
Sharon Worthy, 22, must serve more than two years in prison before she is eligible for parole, Denton County Assistant District Attorney Jamie Beck said in an email Monday.
Just hours before her trial was to start Monday in a Denton courtroom, Worthy pleaded guilty to a charge of injury to a child by omission, a second-degree felony, and she was sentenced to 10 years.
Had she faced a jury and been convicted, jurors could have sentenced her to a maximum of 20 years in prison. She also was eligible for probation, Beck said.
A Denton County jury convicted her boyfriend, Curtis Copeland, 28, of Sanger, in December of capital murder and sentenced him to life in prison without parole. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty so a conviction was an automatic life sentence.
Her 3-year-old son, Jesse Fleming Fisher Jr., died from injuries to the head and brain at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth in March 2010, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner's office. His death was ruled a homicide.
Jesse suffered a broken pelvis, a broken vertebra, a head injury and bruises all over his body, according to arrest warrant affidavits released in 2010.
Child Protective Services had received a report March 9, 2010, of someone abusing Jesse, and agency officials were investigating at the time of his death.
Worthy and her children were instructed not to have any contact with Copeland because he was a convicted felon, but her neighbors saw Copeland at her Bowie apartment several times, the affidavit says.
Worthy and her two sons moved in with Copeland on March 25, 2010, at a home in the 6500 block of Private Road 6601 north of Krum in unincorporated Denton County because she told him that she needed someone to watch her children while she had a baby. Copeland is not the father of any of the children, authorities said. Jesse's father was in prison, according to the affidavit.
Copeland later told authorities that he noticed bruises on the toddler when the family moved in March 25, and that Worthy had told him that Jesse had fallen down stairs.
Under questioning by a Texas Ranger and investigators with the Denton County Sheriff's Department, Worthy said she saw Copeland shove Jesse in the back so violently March 29, 2010, that the toddler fell face-first to the floor, causing bruising and swelling, according to the affidavit. But she never called authorities, the affidavit says.
Worthy left Jesse and a then-1-year-old son, Malachi Yeley, with Copeland on March 30, 2010, while she went to a Bridgeport hospital in nearby Wise County to have the baby, authorities said.
Copeland told Denton County authorities that Jesse fainted while he was babysitting him and that he ran to have a neighbor call 911. Copeland told authorities that he found Jesse unconscious on a floor in the Denton County residence, according to the affidavit.
Worthy showed no emotion or tears for her boy when he was hooked up to life support just hours before he died, the affidavit says.
Copeland was arrested a few days after Jesse died after he failed to arrive for a polygraph test, Denton County authorities said.
Worthy's two sons are in foster care, according to CPS officials.