Kansas Woman Gets 4 Years for Starving Stepdaughters

A woman whose two stepdaughters were discovered last year in an advanced state of starvation has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison.

Jennifer Wood's abuse of the two girls was so severe that they could have died if there had not been intervention, District Judge Douglas Roth said.

Wood, 28, pleaded guilty on May 2 to two counts of felony child abuse and one count of aggravated battery stemming from allegations that she choked one of the girls.

Her husband, Alex Wood, has pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse and faces sentencing Thursday.

The girls, ages 6 and 7 at the time, were removed from their home and the parents arrested last July after a social worker discovered them starving and dehydrated in the basement of the family home.

The home was well-stocked with food and Jennifer Wood's children, a 4-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy, were found to be healthy and well-fed, authorities said.

Alex Wood traveled frequently for business, and his two daughters told police they ate only when he was at home.

Jennifer Wood was sentenced to 44 months in prison, but she could be released in about 27 months. Roth said she would receive credit for the 11 months she has been held in the Sedgwick County Jail, and she could receive credit for good behavior in prison.