YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Prosecutors told a Mahoning County jury on Thursday that a Youngstown woman repeatedly abused two of her children by forcing them to stay in a room for long periods of time.
The jurors found Tamara Julious, 31, guilty on four counts of child endangering beginning in late 2014 when they were just eight and nine years old.
Prosecutors said Julious and co-defendant Albert Barnette hit the children and locked them in the room without food, water or a bathroom.
“They’re locked, or trapped would be more accurate, with bells on the door of the bedroom,” said Assistant Mahoning County Prosecutor Jenn McLaughlin. “The kids were cold, the kids were hungry, the kids had a single blanket that they had to share.”
Julious claimed she was simply disciplining the boy and girl.
“Can you imagine that life? Can you imaging going home from school every day knowing that’s what’s waiting for you?” McLaughlin said. “Is that reasonable discipline? No.”
The defense argued that the children suffered no physical harm and showed no signs of mental illness.
Defense Attorney Jeff Limbian said Julious was only doing what the law allows all parents to do, claiming she was the victim of political correctness.
“We do this thing now where we parent-shame from afar. We mommy-shame from afar. We analyze what other people do and we say, ‘That’s wrong.'”
Limbian also took aim at Mahoning County Children’s Services and the Sheriff’s Department, saying his client cooperated with investigators.
“They cherry-picked pieces of information that she said, and they’re now using it against her.”
Prosecutors called what Julious did “excessive.”
“To put your child in a room for days with no toilet, going to the bathroom in a bucket, with only grits or oatmeal. Hitting a child so hard that it leaves marks,” McLaughlin said.
After three hours of deliberation, jurors returned with “guilty” verdicts on all counts.
Judge Maureen Sweeney immediately revoked her bond and sent Julious to jail. She could now face up to twelve years in prison when she’s sentenced in about six weeks.
Barnette is set for a pretrial in May.