Society

Mother Who Neglected Drowning Son Gets Prison Sentence

| by Sean Kelly
Lonna Lauramore BartonLonna Lauramore Barton

Just eight months after Lonna Lauramore Barton's son went missing and two months after his remains were found, the 26-year-old was sentenced to five years in prison for his death.

Barton was given a five-year sentence after pleading guilty to one count of child neglect and one count of lying to police. Her ex-boyfriend, 32-year-old William Ruben Ebron, led investigators to her son's body in January, six months after the boy went missing.

Ebron pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter, and will likely be sentenced to 20 years in prison. He told police that the boy drowned in the bathtub while he and Barton were having sex, though Barton claimed she didn't know how her son died.

Barton's attorneys said her son was alive when she went to work that day, and the young woman's story has not changed since the investigation began. Ebron's account, however, has change multiple times.

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Prosecutors have yet to say whose story they believe. Neither story can be disproved by evidence.

Ebron's parents were present for Barton's sentencing, WFTV reported.

"I'm never going to dispute my son had some involvement, but he wasn't alone," his father, William Ebron Sr., said. "True justice for this baby would be equal amount."

Ebron Sr. said he believes Barton was heavily involved in her son's death.

"It think she knows more than she’s saying," he said. "I think she had more involvement.”

Ebron's mother said Barton got an "all-American exception" in her sentencing because she's a blond, white woman, while her son is a black man.

"These are the same folks who stated their child was innocent right up until he pleaded guilty," assistant state attorney Rich Mantei said. "This has nothing to do with the race of either of them.”

Both Barton and Ebron also face drug charges unrelated to the toddler's death. The couple met when Barton was a stripper at a club called Wacko's and Ebron was known to supply drugs to the women who worked there, the Florida Times-Union reported.

Sources: Florida Times-Union, WFTV / Photo credit: Daily Mail

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