BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A Brevard County man will spend at least 19 years in prison for nearly starving his 12-year-old son to death.
In court on Friday, 40-year-old Michael Marshall offered a mumbled and sometimes disturbing explanation for the starvation and caging of his son, who weighed only 40 pounds when he was discovered by police.
"We weren't trying to hurt him," said Michael Marshall. "We were trying to help him and went the wrong way about it. We were trying to get him to be a good boy, basically."
Marshall pleaded no contest Friday on multiple charges of aggravated abuse, false imprisonment and neglect.
When Marshall is sentenced in April, he will face a maximum of 30 years in prison. His attorney is hoping for a lighter sentence.
Last month in a trial that ended in a guilty verdict for Marshall's girlfriend, Sharon Glass, prosecutors said the boy was caged or tied up most of the time.
On the stand in her trial, Glass said Marshall took steps to cover up his son's condition.
"Mike always had him wear bulky sweatshirts, hood things and sweat pants," Glass said.
Glass told jurors in her trial that Marshall was the primary abuser and even abused her as she tried to paint herself as a victim too.
"I strongly believed he was going to kill me, that I was his true love and he didn't want anyone else to have me," said Glass.
Glass is scheduled to be sentenced in March.