LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Melissa Lively is on her way to prison. It took a Lubbock jury under an hour to find Lively guilty on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and just one more hour for jurors to decide on the maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars.
Melissa Lively is the first of four charged with aggravated assault to take the stand. Jurors listened to four days of testimony and in two hours found her guilty and sentenced her to 20 years in prison. The 12 members found the mom guilty of burning her 15 and 16-year-old stepsons back in 2006. Prosecutors say Joe and his brother Danny were malnourished, severely beaten and burned with a battery charger.
On the stand, the brothers told jurors they were forced to sleep on bed mats in the garage while the five other children slept inside the house. Luke Jordan, Melissa Lively's attorney, says his client was disappointed with the verdict. "I think legally she is not guilty of what she was charged with however I think any jury member has to take note of injuries those boys received because of that I'm not all together surprised," adds Jordan.
Prosecutor Jennifer Bassett says no one wins in child abuse cases. "These cases are difficult cases and one thing about them in regards to what punishment you get because it never cures the situation. Abuse occurred and these boys endured it and we can't take it back and wish we could," says Bassett.
The co-defendants to this case are Steve Lively, Jason Lively and family friend Kyle Sexton. They face similar charges. A trial date has not been set yet. Lively's other biological son, Josh, has already been convicted as a juvenile for his role.
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