Foster mother sentenced to life with parole for child's death By DAN SEWELL Associated Press
CINCINNATI — A judge told a woman Thursday she didn't seem sorry about the death of her 3-year-old foster
son she left home alone bound up in a closet when she went to a family union, then gave her life in prison with the
chance of parole.
After hearing Liz Carroll apologize for her lies — she had claimed after the boy's August death that he disappeared
in a park — and her claim she didn't want him hurt, Clermont County Judge Robert Ringland said she had to accept responsibility
for the child entrusted to her. Marcus Fiesel was developmentally disabled and was left confined for the weekend in a blanket
and packing tape.
"There has never been a sincere concern for Marcus Fiesel," Ringland said. "Even to
this day, the only remorse is that you are being found guilty and not for the death of this child."
Ringland gave Carroll, 30, life with possible parole after 15 years, on the murder charge, and prosecutors expect her to
be in prison at least 54 years based on the sentences the judge issued on a total of seven charges including involuntary manslaughter,
kidnapping, felonious assault and child endangerment.
Jurors who deliberated about five hours in Batavia, east of Cincinnati, decided Wednesday she caused the boy's death by
leaving him for two days while she went to a family reunion in Kentucky. The case has led to pushes for changes in Ohio's
foster care system.
Carroll, who did not testify during trial, said she never meant harm Marcus, who had lived with the family three months.
"I didn't do this to Marcus," she said. "I did not and would not ever hurt a child."
Her attorney, Gregory Cohen, told Ringland that Carroll was a good mother who loved children, dragged down by bullying
husband David Carroll Jr. and his live-in lover. He said she was an honor student, an athlete and student body leader in Massachusetts
before moving to Ohio.
"This is not a monster standing here next to me," Cohen said. "This is a well-liked, well-loved, woman who made a horrendous
error in judgment." Carroll will appeal, he said.
Carroll pointed to Amy Baker, who was having an affair with Carroll's husband and moved in with them and was the state's
key witness against her.
"I'm sorry for the lies and I hope that someday that the truth can come out, because Amy Baker does not speak the truth,"
Assistant Prosecutor Daniel "Woody" Breyer called the boy's death "the most offensive and heinous crime" he could recall
in three decades as a prosecutor. He scoffed at the idea that Carroll was a good mother, saying neighbors told authorities
her own four children and those brought to her home daycare were left unsupervised, jumping on a trampoline alone or roaming
She has continued to change her version of events, Breyer said.
"I've lost count; could be her third story, fourth story, fifth story," he said.
David Carroll Jr., 29, faces trial March 19 on the same charges as his wife. He also is charged with gross abuse of a corpse,
for allegedly burning the boy's body and then dumping the remains in the Ohio River.
Prosecutors say the Carrolls concocted a cover-up after finding the boy dead when they returned from the reunion. They
claimed he had wandered off or had been snatched from a park in suburban Cincinnati; thousands of volunteers fanned out to
search for him.
Prosecutors played video of Liz Carroll's press conference in which she appealed for public help in finding a boy she knew
Jurors also heard a reading of her grand jury testimony in which she at first insisted that the boy had disappeared in
the park, but finally admitted that she knew he had died in the closet at her Batavia home. She said she didn't intend to
hurt him; prosecutors told the jury that didn't matter because her criminal acts caused his death.
Baker has not been charged, but acknowledged that she helped dispose of the child's body. Prosecutors agreed not to pursue
charges against her in exchange for her testimony against the couple, unless evidence shows she had hands-on involvement in
the boy's death.
The Carrolls also face trial on lesser charges, including perjury and inducing panic, here in Hamilton County, where they
said Fiesel had disappeared.