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Ohio parents plead guilty to manslaughter in son's cancer death

Monica Hussing (in white) and William Robinson (on her left)
CBS/WOIO
(CBS/AP) CLEVELAND - The parents of 8-year-old Willie Robinson, an Ohio boy who died from Hodgkin's lymphoma, have pleaded guilty to denying him medical treatment.

Monica Hussing, 37, and William Robinson Sr, 40, pleaded guilty Monday to attempted involuntary manslaughter. They each face up to eight years in prison if convicted.

Willie Robinson collapsed at his home on March 22, 2008. Prosecutors say he had begged his parents to take him to see a doctor but was rejected.

"They thought the kid had swollen glands," John Luskin, Hussing's Cleveland-based attorney told CNN onTuesday.

Luskin said the boy's parents would notice a lump on his neck, but it would come and go but did not appear to bother him.

The couple never sought a diagnosis for their son. They did not have much money, and struggled to make ends meet and "were doing the best they could,"

Prosecutors say while the boy was suffering, his parents paid an $87 bill to have a pit bull treated for fleas.

Hodgkin's lymphoma is a highly treatable cancer. People diagnosed with the disease often have a chance for a full recovery.

"Even if it's widely spread, we can have a cure rate of 80 percent," said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society.

CNN reports the sentencing is scheduled for February 16.

  • Crimesider Staff

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