The devastated family of toddler Elijah Nealey who was suffocated by his babysitter two years ago has slammed her five-year prison sentence as ‘an insult’.
Jessica Fraraccio, 22, pleaded guilty in October to killing the 23-month-old boy in his Virginia home.
Even though Mark and Jennifer Nealey understood nothing could bring back their beloved son, the grieving couple hoped for a five-decade prison sentence.
The couple were left reeling when Judge J. Howe Brown on Monday sentenced Fraraccio to 50 years jail, but suspended 45 and ordered that she donate $1 every year to charity following her release.
Audible gasps were heard in the courtroom when the sentence was announced, which the boy’s grandmother described as ‘an insult’.
‘Once the verdict was read, I didn’t even fully comprehend it until after I’d left the courtroom and it all started sinking in. The anger has started to really build up since Monday. It still doesn’t make sense,’ 40-year-old Mark Nealey said, according to The Huffington Post.
‘His (the judge’s) decision shows no respect whatsoever for me, my family, or the life of my son.
‘To me, it’s a total failure of our justice system. I want everyone to know what the judge thought my son’s life was worth…which is pretty much nothing, according to him.’