LONGVIEW, Wash. -- A Longview mom was sentenced to more than 8 years in prison and her husband got more than 5 years for starving and abusing 2 of their adopted children.
Jeffery and Rebecca Trebilcock were found guilty last month of criminal mistreatment, after they nearly starved their adopted son to death. Prosecutors said the 13-year-old boy was severely malnourished and often given nothing but goat and dog food to eat. They also withheld food from his biological sister.
The judge decided on a split sentence, giving more time to Rebecca after citing years of ongoing abuse. She was sentenced to 96 months behind bars and Jeffery was sentenced to 60 months.
Earlier in the day, Jeffery made a tearful plea to the judge, asking to be reunited with his children. He said he missed them.
The boy, who is now 14, was one of 5 children adopted by the Trebilcocks. Doctors testified that he was close to death when the state took custody of him and his four sisters. After the couple's arrest, the boy was treated at Doernbecher Children's Hospital for broken ribs, malnutrition and hypothermia. He weighed less than 50 pounds.
The adopted children testified during the trial. They described sometimes eating toothpaste because they were so hungry. One of the girls said at times, Jeffery and Rebecca taped their mouths shut. They also testified that a motion detector had been set up in the kitchen to catch them if they tried to get food.
The couple was convicted in late July of first-degree criminal mistreatment of the boy and third-degree criminal mistreatment of his sister. The prosecution had tried to prove that the couple also denied food to the 3 other adopted girls. However, the judge acquitted the Trebilcocks of those charges.
The children were adopted by the Trebilcocks between 2002 and 2008. They are now living in protective custody.
The Trebilcocks also have biological children, who were in good health and did not appear to be mistreated, investigators said.