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Sect members have not pleaded guilty in boy’s death • Saturday August 3, 2002

Plea negotiations are said to be under way with the mother and aunt of the infant boy who died of starvation.
The Providence Journal, Aug. 2, 2002
Journal Staff Writer

Neither of the two Attleboro sect members still awaiting trial in the starvation death of one-year-old Samuel Robidoux have agreed to plead guilty in the case, according to prosecutors.

Samuel’s mother, Karen E. Robidoux, 26, is charged with second-degree murder, and his aunt, G. Michelle Mingo, 37, is charged as an accessory to an assault on the boy. Samuel’s father, sect elder Jacques D. Robidoux, 29, was convicted in June of first-degree murder in his son’s death and automatically sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Jacques Robidoux is Karen Robidoux’s husband and Mingo’s brother.

Prosecutors have indicated they would accept a plea of manslaughter from Karen Robidoux, with a prison term in the range of 10 years.

Her lawyer said Wednesday that plea negotiations are under way, but declined to say what sort of sentence Robidoux would be willing to accept in exchange for a guilty plea.

As for Mingo, prosecutors have wondered aloud why she is still in jail. Under sentencing guidelines, if she were convicted of accessory to assault, she would be sentenced to less time than she has already served waiting for trial and would be set free. This has prompted recent speculation that she would plead guilty.

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