Father given 50 years in prison for starving infant

FORT WORTH — It was a miracle that Euphrates Foster survived, prosecutors say.

When the malnourished 7-month-old was hospitalized in February 2007, eczema covered his body. He weighed 8.3 pounds, not even a pound over his birth weight.

Though today he is a healthy 3  1/2 -year-old boy, prosecutors say the credit does not lie with his father, Michael Anthony Foster, 39, who was convicted in October of starving the boy and not seeking medical care for him.

On Friday afternoon, prosecutors asked state District Judge George Gallagher to sentence Foster to life in prison.

"Euphrates will not remember what his father has done to him," prosecutor Kevin Boneberg said. "Don’t let this defendant forget."

Gallagher sentenced Foster to 50 years in prison despite requests for probation or a light prison sentence from defense attorney Fred Cummings, who argued that Foster, like the child’s mother, has mental-health issues.

"We had two mentally ill parents who were not capable of dealing with their responsibilities as parents," Cummings said.

The judge’s decision angered several supporters of Foster who were present at the hearing. They say he was unfairly given the brunt of the punishment in the case. Euphrates’ mother, Melisa Marez, received 17 months in a state jail as part of a plea.

Read the full story at