MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - The parents of an 11-month-old girl who doctors testified died from malnourishment and a lethal dose of medicine in 2018 were sentenced to prison on Monday.
Our news partner AL.com reports that because Joshua Foster has two prior felony convictions for theft and drug possession, he was automatically sentenced to life in prison for the Class A felony of aggravated child abuse. Foster was convicted at trial in November 2019.
Porsha Bole was sentenced to 50 years. She pleaded guilty before Foster’s trial began late last year.
A state Forensic Sciences Department medical examiner testified that a fatal dose of diphenhydramine, a compound commonly found in sleeping pills and allergy medicines, caused the girl’s death. The doctor said she weighed just 10 pounds and was severely dehydrated and underfed when she died in 2018.
Foster testified he never noticed his daughter was starving or being given unnecessary doses of medication as he was often away working. Foster testified at trial that while he was working full time to provide for the family, taking care of the children was Bole’s responsibility.
“This is one of those cases where I think the person more culpable got less years than the one who was more culpable,” said Chad Morgan, Foster’s defense attorney.
Morgan said Foster will appeal the case.
AL.com reports that court officials confirmed Bole said that because she was a drug addict, she failed to realize the condition her daughter was in.
Judge Smith said he’s been haunted by the details revealed during the trial.
“It’s particularly heinous,” said Madison County Assistant District Attorney Tim Douthit. “Cows at the slaughterhouse live a better life and die better than this little girl.”