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Longmont couple gets 10 years in prison for starving son with autism

David Lawrence Hall and Vanessa Hall (Photo: City of Longmont)

LONGMONT, Colo. — A Longmont couple accused of starving and abusing their teenage son, who is blind and has autism, have been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

David and Vanessa Hall pleaded guilty and were sentenced Tuesday.

In court papers, doctors at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora said they’d never seen such a severe case of malnutrition.

Doctors told police the 17-year-old boy weighed just 88 pounds when he was admitted to the hospital on Aug. 22.

The couple initially brought their son to Longmont United Hospital after he lost consciousness.

One doctor told police the boy’s condition was, “consistent with someone who would have been in a concentration camp for several years.”

The teenager had not seen a doctor in at least eight years. He hadn’t had formal schooling, dental care or in-home assistance for the same time period.

The Halls were arrested in September.

RELATED: Arrest warrant

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, the boy’s parents told detectives he consumed only sugary drinks and junk food for more than a decade.

The parents told police their son refused to consume anything but Cheez-It, Cheetos, Doritos and sodas. Investigators said the couple failed to seek assistance to get the boy the nutrients his body needed.

Anyone who suspects child abuse and neglect can call the statewide hotline at 800-CO-4-KIDS (800-426-5437). The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.