Riverside parents accused of starving their children get probation



A Riverside mother and father were sentenced to probation after pleading guilty in connection to their two young children being hospitalized for malnutrition early this year.

Maleah Henry-Reed, 21, and Dustin William Shade, 26, pleaded guilty to two counts of endangering children on Tuesday, according to Montgomery County Common Pleas Court records.

Two additional counts of endangering children and one count of tampering with evidence were dismissed.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said the parents were sentenced to five years of intensive probation.

The prosecutor’s office previously filed for the children to be removed from Henry-Reed and Shade. Both children are now in permanent custody of Montgomery County Children Services, Heck said.

Henry-Reed has since given birth to a third child. The newborn is reportedly under protective services for continued review and action.

“I do not want this infant to suffer the same malnutrition and harm that these two children endured at the hands of these two defendants in this case,” Heck said. “Therefore, this infant will be under the microscope of the Montgomery County Children Services for the child’s safety and well-being.”

Attorney Catherine Breault, who represents Henry-Reed, issued the following statement: “The outcome was just and fair, and we are grateful for Judge Jackson’s decision in imposing probation. The facts of this case were not as originally portrayed by the media and the present outcome reflects that. We are hoping everyone can move forward in peace.”

The pair were indicted in January after their 15-month-old daughter and 5-year-old son were hospitalized at Dayton Children’s Hospital for malnutrition. The girl weighed approximately 10 pounds and the boy was around 21 pounds, according to juvenile court documents.

The investigation began Jan. 17 when Henry-Reed brought her daughter to a clinic after she reportedly hadn’t eaten in two days. The girl was transported to Dayton Children’s Hospital and the authorities were called due to concerns about malnutrition and child abuse.

Riverside police obtained a search warrant for the family’s home where Shade was with the boy. The 5-year-old also was taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital for malnutrition.

During a press conference in January, Heck said both children were recovering in the hospital.

Henry-Reed and Shade both said the children were being fed, according to juvenile court records.

She said Shade was the primary caretaker during the day because she worked night shifts.

“Mother reported knowing (the girl) was fed as there were times she would feed the child and would see empty baby food jars in the trash,” a court memo read.

In February, temporary custody of both children was granted to Montgomery County Children Services.

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

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