A 57-year-old woman was sentenced to 25 years in jail over the death of her three-year-old grandson who suffocated to death after being wrapped up in six blankets in a cruel punishment called “The Wrap”.
After displaying “behavioral issues” while eating a peanut butter sandwich, the boy, Michael McMullen, was “tied like a mummy” with fabric wrapped over his head and arms pinned to his side for four hours.
His grandmother Gale Watkins told the court in Fort Myers, Florida, that she checked on the boy once, asking him to stop crying so she could get 20 minutes’ rest. At some point she tried to untie the knots but gave up after breaking a nail, she said.
A friend of hers, Donella Trainor, then tightened “The Wrap” and put more pillows around the boy. Michael was found unconscious hours later, lying face down and “soaking wet” with sweat. The boy died of suffocation, overheating and choking on the sandwich.
On Monday, Gale Watkins became the third and final defendant to be convicted of aggravated manslaughter in the case and got a 25-year sentence with five years’ probation.
1. Gale Watkins, 57, (right) has been jailed for 25 years for the death of her grandson Michael McMullen (left) who was wrapped in six blankets and left for four hours until he died of suffocation and overheating.
2. Family friend Donella Trainor (left) was jailed for 20 years and stepfather Douglas Garrigus (right) for 10.
3. The three-year-old boy cried and hyperventilated. At one point his grandmother tried to untie him but gave up after breaking a nail.
Donella Trainor was jailed for 20 years and the boy’s stepfather, Douglas Garrigus, got 10 years for the same charge. According to Naples News, Watkins told the court:
The loss of Michael is the greatest I’ve ever felt. No one feels more remorse than I do.
Her daughter, and Michael’s mother, Samantha McMullen said she was distraught at the loss of both her son and her mother. She said:
My mom couldn’t even hurt a fly let alone a child or a person.
Donella Trainor told investigators that she had disciplined her own grandchildren that way, using a technique all three adults knew as “The Wrap”, according to Lieutenant Larry King. He said:
There were six layers of cloth over this child. The loose ends would be folded over his head and feet and tied into a knot, all in an effort to prevent the child from moving. You could use a mummy reference.
As he was wrapped, three-year-old Michael pleaded to be released and put in his crib for a nap, the sheriff’s report said, but to no avail. His grandmother and his stepfather checked on him at different times as he cried and struggled, the report said.
Paramedics took Michael to a hospital in Fort Myers on Florida’s southwest coast where he was pronounced dead and the medical examiner classified the death as a homicide.
Source: Naples News.
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