She dressed as a witch to terrorize her grandchild. That was only part of the horror.
“Nelda the Witch,” as she went by, was the character Geneva Robinson, a 51-year-old Oklahoma City resident, used to terrorize her granddaughter for a year, according to local media reports. Cellphone videos show Robinson grabbing the child near the throat, dragging the child and saying she was going to eat her, while another man, her boyfriend, supported her.
But while the threat of cannibalism has been used in jest or while playing by many, Robinson’s words legitimately frightened the child, according to police. And while the grandma who dressed up as a witch has received international media coverage, it is actually just one part of a pattern of child abuse so severe that when the child was eventually taken to a hospital in 2014, a nurse said she looked like a “Holocaust survivor,” per KFOR.
Robinson and her boyfriend, Joshua Granger, were both found guilty on charges of felony child abuse, and on Thursday, a judge sentenced Robinson to three life terms in prison, per The Oklahoman. Granger was given 30 years for his role in aiding and abetting Robinson.
While both Robinson and Granger agreed to plead guilty to only a few charges, they were initially slapped with a combined 29 counts of felony child abuse and neglect. Judge Michele McElwee announced the final sentence after they pleaded guilty in February, according to court documents.
According to prosecutors, Robinson not only dressed as a witch, but also burned the girl with cigarettes, struck her in the face and on the head, used a rolling pin to hit her hand, scratched her neck, kicked her groin, cut her hair while she slept and cut her finger with scissors, refused to let her attend school or give her enough food and forced her to sleep outside with the family dogs, per KFOR.
In the family’s home, police found a horse whip and dog leashes Robinson used to suspend her grandchild in the air, per News 9.
In court, McElwee held up pictures of the child before and after the abuse as she sentenced Robinson.
“You know what died? Those sparkling eyes from an innocent girl,” McElwee said of the girl’s picture before the abuse.
According to The Oklahoman, Robinson had allegedly used the “Nelda” character to terrorize others before, physically abusing the girl’s father when he was a child, per court documents.
Robinson’s abuse was finally uncovered in 2014 when she took the young girl to a hospital saying she could not “handle” her anymore. Doctors there noted the girl was malnourished and had burns and bruises all over her body, per News 9.
Still, the child, now 9 years old, wrote a letter to her grandmother that was read in court.
“I love you, I forgive you, you're the best grandmother I ever had,” the girl wrote, per News 9.
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