June 2, 2011 - November 3, 2017
Liam Roberts and his older brother were starved for almost two years under the watch of their own father and his wife. Liam was taken in to the hospital where he would die a short time later. Liam’s seven year old brother was also starved. When Liam’s body was taken to the hospital, his brother was admitted in to the ICU.
They lived on the 200 block of Ferguson Street in Jerseyville, Illinois.
Michael and Georgena Roberts were charged with First Degree Murder. They both plead guilty. It was never reported why Liam’s mother didn’t have custody.
THE TELEGRAPH reported some of the statements held in the courtroom.
Woelfel described, sometimes in graphic detail, the investigation. Woelfel described how Michael Roberts received a call from Georgena Roberts while he was at work, with Michael Roberts asking, “Is he breathing?”
He also noted that after making the call Georgena Roberts put Liam on a couch, put his brother in the car and went to pick up the other children at school. Liam was taken to the hospital several hours later.
Deputy Police Chief Scott Woelfel stated that both Georgena and Michael told him they began punishing Liam and his brother every time they would urinate or defecate on the floor at the residence. They were both restricted to the basement until they were let out.
Police reports showed they were at the Roberts residence several times prior to his death, but the police never seen or spoke with the children. There were neighbors that didn’t even know the children existed.
Part of the testimony in court was witnesses in school. THE TELEGRAPH reports.
According to Woelfel, school personnel noted Liam was so obsessed with food “when he came to school he would literally eat food off the floor.” Woelfel noted that the night before Liam’s death the two boys were given bologna, the other children ate chicken strips and fries and the couple had steak.
At the time of his death, Liam reportedly weighed 17 pounds. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average weight of a 6-year-old is 45 pounds.
The teachers contacted the Roberts’ to notify them of Liam’s behavior with food at school. It is unknown if they reported this to the hotline teachers have when they suspect abuse..
In January 2016 DCFS was involved, as a complaint stated there was an insufficient amount of food in the household. A pediatrician reported that Liam’s low body weight was caused by a medical issue and DCFS… closed the case.
The two took both of the boys out of school and began home schooling them. It is not known if they actually learned anything or if this was a way for the abuse to continue and remain undetected.
THE RIVERBENDER reports some of the last moments of Liam’s life.
Liam Roberts had not eaten a full meal in a year at the time of his death. He and his brother were pulled from school for allegedly having an obsession with food and eating food from the floor of the classroom. One night, Mike and Georgena Roberts enjoyed a steak dinner while Liam and his older brother were only given meager amounts of baloney. The other children were given a nutritious meal of chicken patties and vegetables. Both Mike and Georgena Roberts said they sneaked the boys food, but each said the other would get angry when it was discovered.
When Liam Roberts was dying, Mike Roberts came home from work and placed him in a bathtub of warm water instead of calling for help. When that did not revive the boy, he was taken to Jersey Community Hospital. Police were called after the child was pronounced dead. He weighed 17 pounds, was covered in sores with his ribs and hip bones showing, and had thinning hair and sallow cheeks, Woelfel testified. These were obvious signs of starvation.
Both Michael and Georgena read their own personal statements showing guilt and remorse, but I personally can’t bring myself to posting it here. Everything they could have done stopped at Liam’s death. Any attempts to correct it after Liam’s death is too late.
Georgena was sentenced to a simple twenty years with the court taking in to consideration of some mental issues she reportedly had. Michael received twenty five years. How that equates to justice for murdering a six year old baby I’m not sure. Knowing they will one day get out. They will continue their lives. They will continue to breath, see the sun, eat, sleep, speak… while Liam lost his life, his chance to love, be with his mom, siblings and other family. He won’t learn love, his first crush, happiness or trust.
Michael L Roberts now lives at the Pinckneyville Correctional Center and is expected to get out in 2042. Georgena L Roberts lives at the Logan Correctional Center until 2037.
JERSEYVILLE — Liam Michael Roberts, 6, born June 2, 2011, to Michael Roberts of Jerseyville and Kimberly Rachal of Charleston, died Friday Nov. 3, 2017. Liam is survived by his parents, a sister, Bailey Roberts of Jerseyville, two brothers, Mason Roberts and Alex Roberts of Jerseyville, two half-brothers, Andrew Roberts of Godfrey and Jacob Rachal of White Hall, and a half-sister, Saylor Roberts of Charleston. Also surviving are his paternal grandparents, Gordon and Linda Dabbs of Brighton and maternal grandmother, Patricia Patton of Baton Rouge, LA. A private memorial service was conducted by Reverend Jerry MeCaskey of Evangelical United Church of Christ of Godfrey on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017.
Published in The Telegraph from Nov. 20 to Nov. 21, 2017
Please. If you see something, say something. Don’t stop until your voice is heard, because your voice can be the child’s voice. Notify the teacher. The principal. The police. DCFS. The neighbors. The Mayor. Anyone. Everyone. Why? Because your voice may be their last.