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New Boston grandparents to spend decades in prison for death of granddaughter

PORTSMOUTH — New Boston grandparents Richard and Sonja Greene have been sentenced to life in prison in the death of their five-year-old granddaughter that was in their custody and will spend decades in prison before they can apply for parole.

On April 26, in a plea agreement with the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office, Sonja Greene, 39, pled guilty to three of the indictments —aggravated murder and two counts of felonious assault. Richard Green, 46, pled guilty to one count of aggravated murder.

Scioto County Common Pleas judge Howard Harcha III accepted the plea negotiation and sentenced Sonja Greene, identified as the principal offender, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for twenty-five years for the aggravated murder, plus an additional two years on each felonious assault, to be run consecutive to one another for a total sentence of life without the possibility of parole for twenty-nine years.

Richard Greene was sentenced on the aggravated murder charge to life without the possibility of parole for twenty years.

“The plea negotiation alleviated the need for a jury trial which would have subjected various witnesses to the further trauma of reliving the events while testifying,” said Scioto County Prosecutor Shane Tieman. “It also severely limits any possible appeal.”

The case began in July 2020 when Annabell Greene was flown from Portsmouth to a Columbus hospital where she died. New Boston police officials said Annabell had bruises and multiple injuries to her head and body consistent with physical abuse. Two other children in the Greene’s care were put into foster care.

The Greenes were arrested and were indicted on multiple felony charges in August 2020.

Richard Greene was indicted on multiple charges including two counts of aggravated murder, three counts of second-degree felony assault, six counts of rape and nine counts of second-degree felony endangering children.

Sonja Greene was indicted on two counts of aggravated murder, three counts of second-degree felony assault, six counts of rape and 11 counts of second-degree felony endangering children.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.