FRANKLIN, Ohio -- Tammi Bethel, a Franklin woman whose 7-year-old son tried in August to sell his teddy bear for food, was Friday sentenced to 180 days in jail for child endangerment.
Franklin police discovered the fetid conditions at the Bethel family home after one officer found their youngest child attempting to sell his teddy bear in order to afford a meal. Neither he nor his four siblings, he said, had eaten in days. When officers investigated, they found the children living in a sea of garbage and spoiled food.
All five children were removed from the home and placed with relatives upon their parents’ arrest.
"I love my kids, and I will do anything I have to do," Bethel said in court Friday. "If that means sitting in jail for one year or however long, I will do it to make sure I get my kids back."
Bethel complained of chest pains and nausea during her sentencing and was transported to a nearby hospital after the sentence had been handed down. Her husband, Michael Bethel, was also in the hospital; authorities said he would be arrested and sentenced after his release.
Neither Bethel parent is allowed to have any contact with the children at this time.