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Murderer and mother sentenced for 10-year-old Seth Ireland's death

Monday, February 14, 2011

A father's emotions poured out Monday as a murderer and a mother were sent to prison for the death of a ten-year old Fresno boy.

Seth Ireland suffered a severe beating and died in Jan. 2009. A judge sentenced Lebaron Vaughn for the murder Monday. The boy's mother, Rena Ireland, was also sentenced for letting it happen.

Vaughn pleaded guilty to second degree murder and got a sentence of 15 years to life. Rena Ireland pleaded to child endangerment and got a six-year sentence. Seth's father doesn't think the punishments are strong enough for either of them.

Seth Ireland's short life came to an end two years ago inside a southwest Fresno home. The 10-year-old was living with his mother, Rena Ireland, and her boyfriend, Lebaron Vaughn -- who handed out the severe beating that killed the boy.

"Seth's mother, let an evil parasite move into the home where my baby boy lived," said Seth's father, Joseph Hudson at the sentencing for Vaughn.

Hudson choked back tears as he remembered his son as a bright boy who loved to read.

"Seth was one of daddy's biggest joys and gifts from god here on this earth," he said through tears.

But Hudson couldn't do anything to save his son.

When CPS documented a possible abuse case four months before the deadly beating, Rena Ireland protected her boyfriend instead of her son and they convinced investigators to let them keep the boy.

At her sentencing Monday, she stood up to make a statement, but broke down in tears and sat down. Her attorney says she was trying to apologize -- to the court, and to Seth.

"Just a feeling of failure on her part," said defense attorney Antonio Alvarez. "She feels a tremendous failure and as the court said, she failed as a mother, probably in the worst possible way."

Seth's life may have not have lasted long, but his legacy will live on. His teacher at Fresno's Columbia Elementary school established a library in his honor, a tribute Hudson says will keep his son's gifts alive.

"The gift of love will never end as long as memories last," he said.

Vaughn is eligible for parole after 15 years, but Judge Wayne Ellison said he believes the 34-year-old will spend the rest of his life in prison. With good behavior, Rena Ireland can get out of prison in a year-and-a-half.

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murder, court, fresno southwest, fresno, fresno county, local, corin hoggard
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