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Newberry Mom Sentenced To 30 Years In Son's Death

Valerie Sharonne Owens (Photo from Alachua County Jail)
Valerie Sharonne Owens (Photo from Alachua County Jail)

A Newberry mother received a 30-year prison sentence Monday for the 2011 death of her 5-year-old son.

Valerie Sharonne Owens showed little emotion as she received the sentence, which fell in between the less than 20 years the defense wanted and the prosecution's request of 45.

At the sentence hearing, one of Owens' attorneys blamed the death of Javarian Wallace on his aunt, Alice Owens.

Alice Owens, who raised Valerie Owens, constantly abused alcohol and would beat Valerie Owens throughout her upbringing, Valerie Owens' defense argued in court.

Also at the sentence hearing, Valerie Owens said her son had behavioral issues and acted out after she took one of his toys away from him. She said she responded to his lashing out by hitting him with a stick and her fists.

Valerie Owens was arrested after Alachua County deputies found her son unresponsive from multiple traumatic injuries on Dec. 27, 2011. She has been booked at Alachua County Jail since Jan. 18, 2012, on a $100,000 bond.

Shortly after being arrested, Valerie Owens gave birth to twins, who are now in the custody of Owens' mother.

Ramsey is a reporter for WUFT who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.
Mariana is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.