U.S. woman pleads guilty to selling kids
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A woman has pleaded guilty to selling two children for a cockatoo and $175 in what her attorney called an attempt to do a good thing that went wrong.
“It was a really clumsy attempt at an adoption proceeding,” said Steve Sikich, attorney for Donna Louise Greenwell of Pitkin. “She was trying to help the children and get them situated.”
Greenwell, 53, was sentenced Monday to 15 months of hard labour on each of two criminal counts: sale of a minor. The sentences are to run concurrently.
The case centred on a five-yearold boy and a four-year-old girl in Greenwell’s custody.
Investigators said she called Paul J. Romero, 46, and Brandy Lynn Romero, 27, of Evangeline Parish early last year after seeing a flyer they posted offering a cockatoo for sale, and offered to deliver the children for about $2,000. When the Romeros said they could not afford that, a deal was stuck for the bird, valued at $1,500, plus cash.
Greenwell had custody of the children for more than a year before meeting the Romeros, Sikich said. Her lawyers have maintained she was just trying to find a better home for them.
The Romeros pleaded guilty to two felony counts of sale of a minor child, the district attorney said in an earlier statement. Their five-year prison sentences were suspended.