Lebanon teen fears stepmother’s early release

Lebanon teen fears stepmother's early release (Image 1)

The Wilson County woman accused of chaining her stepson to his bed could get out of prison in as little as two months.

In 2004, 15-year-old Josh Osborne was found nearly starved to death and chained to his bed.  He weighed just 49 pounds.

His father James and stepmother Christie were arrested and later convicted of child neglect.

Both received six-year prison sentences.

This week, an appeals court reduced Christie Osborne’s sentence to the three-and-a-half years she has already served.

Josh Osborne, now 18 years old and in the custody of an aunt and uncle, is fearful about what might happen when his stepmother is released.

He told News 2 he hopes his stepmother stays behind bars.

“It’s very scary for her to get out soon…Very soon,” he said.   “Its just like all these years came very fast.”

Jill Barber, Osborne’s aunt, said, “In our state, because of loopholes in the sentencing guidelines, the appellate court has decided that three and half years is enough for causing him this torment, causing him to be near death.”

State prosecutors now have 60 days to decide if they will appeal the court ruling for Christie Osborne thus she will remain in prison for nearly the next two months.

Josh Osborne was just on Capitol Hill last week asking for tougher child abuse laws.

Starvation and malnutrition are currently not considered child abuse.

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