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Dallas woman guilty in stepson's dehydration death

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 18, 2013 at 6:31 pm •  Published: January 18, 2013

After her stepson died, Alberson was charged with injury to a child with serious bodily injury, a first-degree felony in which someone knowingly or recklessly causes harm that creates a substantial risk of death. It carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The lesser charge for which she was convicted carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, but jurors can sentence Alberson to a maximum of life in prison because she previously was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, hitting someone with her van in 1998.

During the sentencing phase, the twins' maternal grandmother, Sue Shotwell, testified that the boys didn't want to go to Alberson's house and that Jonathan couldn't understand why he was always in trouble with his stepmother.

Prosecutors said Alberson should spend the rest of her life behind bars, but defense attorneys asked jurors for the minimum sentence, five years.

The boy's father, Michael Ray James, 43, is set for trial next month.