An Arizona mom is facing life behind bars after she pleaded guilty this month to locking her 6-year-old son in a closet and starving him to death.
Elizabeth Archibeque reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, the Arizona Daily Sun first reported Saturday.
Archibeque, along with the boy’s father, Anthony Martinez, and grandmother, Ann Martinez, were arrested in March 2020.
Police said Archibeque’s two sons, 6-year-old Deshaun Martinez, and his 7-year-old brother, were kept in a closet for about 16 hours daily for a month and denied food at the family’s home in Flagstaff, about two hours north of Phoenix.
An autopsy found Martinez, died of starvation in March 2020.
Authorities had said he weighed just 18 pounds — well below average for his age.
The boy’s parents initially attributed their son’s malnourished state to a medical condition and to ingesting diet or caffeine pills.
Eventually, they told police they kept Deshaun and his older brother in a closet for 16 hours a day and gave them little to eat. The brother survived.
Police said the boys’ confinement was punishment for stealing food while the parents slept.
Archibeque was charged along with the boy’s father and grandmother. Their cases were being tried separately.
Archibeque will be sentenced later this summer.
The terms of the plea agreement state that she will not be eligible for probation, and if sentenced to life in prison, she will not be eligible for any kind of parole or work release.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.