The stepmother of a 6-year-old child who starved to death has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.
Georgena Roberts, 42, of Jerseyville, pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and child endangerment in the death of one of their five children. The 6-year-old weighed 17 pounds at the time of his death. The father, Michael Roberts, is scheduled for a separate court date on his identical charges, according to KSDK.
The child lived with his father and stepmother along with three siblings and two stepsiblings, and police said they believe the parents deprived children of food as a form of punishment.
The 6-year-old was taken to Jersey Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, and preliminary autopsy findings showed extreme malnourishment.
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The other children have been placed with relatives, according to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.