Updated 02/20/2007 05:09 PM
Gratton gets fifteen years, vows appeal
Judy Gratton, shown above, walking out of the Cortland County Court Building on January 1.
After a judge nixed Judy Gratton's last-ditch try at scrapping her conviction, he slapped her with fifteen years behind bars. The biggest charge: assault, for nearly starving to death a five-year-old with Down syndrome. He weighed fifteen pounds. Immediately after the sentencing, her attorney pledged to keep fighting.
"The case is not over, this day is not over, this may be Mr. Hartnett's moment, but whose day this will be has yet to be decided, there will be an appeal filed," said Gratton's Attorney Ira Pesserilo.
The prosecutor didn't speak to us on camera. But in court, he said that Gratton showed no remorse, and that the disregard for her own children stood out most.
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For that, Gratton blamed alcoholism. She had backers in the courtroom.
"She was wrong, we both talked about it, she couldn't help it, she was very ill herself," said Kathy Merihew a friend.
The judge said Gratton could've had help had she only asked. He said he believes she didn't starve her three kids on purpose. But he blasted her for going so far as to hide her malnourished children from DSS, before they were found living amidst roaches and lice during a 2006 drug-bust. Since then, the children are said to be improving, the five-year-old now able to walk. The defense says the appeal will be on its way soon. In the meantime, Gratton is headed to prison for the next fifteen years.
Last month, aside from assault, Gratton was found guilty on three counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of possession of marijuana.