• Annabell Greene died in July 2020
  • Ricard Greene pleaded guilty to aggravated murder
  • Sonja Greene pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and two counts of felonious assault

An Ohio couple has been sentenced to jail after they pleaded guilty to various charges in connection with the abuse of their three grandchildren, which resulted in the death of a 5-year-old grandchild.

Richard Greene, 46, and his wife Sonja Greene, 39, pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the death of granddaughter Annabell Greene in July 2020 and the abuse of her two brothers aged 7 and 3.

Richard, the victims' biological grandfather, pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated murder. Sonja, the step-grandmother, meanwhile, pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and two counts of felonious assault, reported WSAZ News.

The plea negotiation eliminated the need for a jury trial to subject the witnesses to the “further trauma of reliving the events while testifying,” Shane A Tieman, Scioto county prosecutor, was quoted as saying by 13 News. The plea also limited any possibility of appeal.

The court accepted the negotiated plea and sentenced Sonja, who was identified as “the principal offender,” to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years. She was sentenced to an additional two years on charges of felonious assault that will run consecutive to one another. Richard was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for 25 years.

Annabell was found with serious injuries at the couple’s home in July 2020 and was taken to a hospital, where she succumbed to death. An investigation found that Annabell and her two brothers were living at the couple’s house after Scioto County Children Services entrusted Richard with their custody. The police said that the children have been living with the couple for about a month and a half before the incident.

The investigators found out that the two other surviving siblings of Annabell also suffered injuries.

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In a similar incident in February, a 2-month-old baby was hospitalized in Georgia with more than 27 fractured bones. The police arrested the baby’s mother, 30-year-old Jessica Miranda Coffey, and her boyfriend, 28-year-old Philip Luke Norman, on charges of first-degree child abuse. Medical examination showed the child suffered old and new injuries, with some of them in the process of healing.