Judge shames couple on baby's malnourished diet - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Judge shames couple on baby's malnourished diet

Both parents faced the judge to learn their punishment. (Source: WOIO) Both parents faced the judge to learn their punishment. (Source: WOIO)
The parents of an 11-month-old baby, who weighed just 10 pounds, were sentenced on child endangering charges Tuesday.  

They told the judge they were overwhelmed at the time their daughter, Dahlihla, was taken from them, and that they had been trying to feed her natural foods. They substituted almond milk for baby formula, and pureed fruits and vegetables, rather than baby foods more suitable for an infant to digest.  

A hospital report shows an emergency hospitalization for malnourishment. The parents are now viewed as minimizing the severity of the situation. 

"During their interviews, they never showed any remorse for feeding their child almond milk, when it should have been baby formula," said Oscar Alborez, assistant county prosecutor. 

"It was my first time being a father. I was in no condition to be taking care of a child," said Donnuel Huddleston.

"Mistakes and bad judgments were made, but we have made every single effort since to correct them. No excuses can be given," said Keeana Huddleston.

Judge Deena Calabrese urged the pair to take advantage of services available in the community to become better parents, as they work toward reunification. She also reasoned that they had to be punished. 

"Being a parent can be a tremendously hard thing, and if you're not on your A game, unfortunately, bad things happen sometimes," said Calabrese. "You made a choice that was not good, and ultimately, your baby has suffered for it."

Donnuel Huddleston was taken to jail immediately. He will serve 90 days, while his wife, Keeana, will be on house arrest. After 90 days, she will go to jail and he will be on house arrest. Both will also be on probation.

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