Former nurse who left her 7-year-old son scalded by forcing him to stand in hot water as punishment jailed for 12 years
Marie Jean Horton, 30, did not bother to seek medical attention for the child immediately and later told investigators that as a nurse, she was able to treat his injuries on her own.
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA: A former nurse has been jailed for child abuse after she punished her young son by making him put his feet in scalding hot water. Marie Jeanne Horton, 30, was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to felony charges of injury to a child.
As per court documents, Horton was trying to discipline her adopted 7-year-old son as she believed that he had lied about pulling the fire alarm at school. She then made him stand in hot water until the child suffered second and third-degree burns on his feet and which made his skin come off after being taken out of the tub.
Horton did not bother to seek medical attention for the child immediately and later told investigators that as a nurse, she was able to treat his injuries on her own.
The child's father, Christopher Funderburg, 30, was at work when the incident had taken place and had shared with investigators that he had trusted his wife's knowledge as a nurse. However, upon seeing the child's feet, he documented them with pictures and rushed him to the Texas Children’s Hospital-West Campus.
The 7-year-old was then treated at the hospital after the doctors diagnosed him with severe second and third-degree burns. The doctors later had the child transferred to the Shriner’s Hospital’s Pediatric Burn Unit where he had to undergo painful surgeries as well as skin graph treatments.
Post the incident which took place in September last year, Horton was sentenced by Judge Frank Frale on June 4, 2019, at the 240th District Court. Funderburg had been sentenced previously. He pled guilty to the offense of Attempted Tampering with a Witness on August 23, 2018, and as a result, was sentenced to two years of community supervision.
As reported by Houston Chronicle, lead prosecutor Claire Andresen shared in a press release, "There is a difference between punishing a child and abusing a child. When discipline escalates to the point it causes injuries so severe to require surgery - that is abuse. It is important for children to understand that it is never their fault when they are abused and that if they come forward, we will work to protect them."
Assistant District Attorney Jenna Rudoff shared with court officials that "without the school administrators and medical professionals involved in this case, this child's injuries may have gone untreated. They worked hard to uncover the truth of what happened to this child and to keep him safe."