A mother who bound her 11-year-old son’s wrists before putting him in a car and setting it on fire has been jailed for just two years and five months.
Sherri Richter, 48, was handed the minimum sentence on Thursday for the bizarre crime which she committed at a cemetery in Frenchtown Township, Michigan, USA, last June. It saw her tie the unnamed boy up, before setting a fire in the Ford Focus’ trunk alight.
Unhappy with the size of the blaze that generated, Sherri then moved on to pouring gasoline in the car’s passenger compartment, where her terrified son sat – only to change her mind and save him moments later. Monroe County sheriff’s officials said after: “This fire did not ignite while the boy struggled to free himself from the vehicle.
“The mother then freed the boy from the vehicle and they walked away until locating an employee from the cemetery.”
It was the employee who freed Richter’s son from his bindings. Richter later pleaded no contest to second-degree child abuse after ‘an assault with intent to murder charge’ was dropped. Her short sentence came after her defense highlighted how she had already spent 12 months in jail, and said a longer sentence would not help her son.
She made a groveling apology in court after, saying: “I’m sorry to my son … and family, that I love very much.” But that cut little ice with sentencing Judge Michael Weipert, who said: “We have a mother who did the unthinkable, committed a horrendous act of violence against her own son in an attempt to take his life.
“I cannot imagine the terror that that poor boy felt to know that his own mother was doing this to him.” Bizarrely, Sherri’s husband made a plea to the court to consider reuniting the mother with her son after she is released from jail. Judge Weipert slammed his request, saying: “He should never be left alone with her. Dad’s obligation now is to protect his son.”