The parents of a 6-year-old boy who starved to death in his South Philadelphia home were sentenced Tuesday to at least 30 years in prison.
Tina Cuffie will spend the next 30 to 60 years behind bars for third-degree murder of Khalil Wimes, who died after she struck him in the head inside their apartment. The child weighed less than 30 pounds and was covered with scars and bruises from routine beatings with belts and electric cords.
“Based on the horror and the depravity of their actions, the sentence is definitely warranted,” said First Assistant District Attorney Edward McCann, who prosecuted the case. “It’s one of the most horrific things I’ve ever seen.”
For the first three years of his life, Khalil lived with foster parents. By all accounts, he was well cared for before being returned to his biological parents.
Latiff Hadi, Khalil’s father, also was convicted of third-degree murder. He too will spend the next 30 to 60 years in prison.
While in Cuffie’s care, Khalil was often locked inside a sparse room all night. In the months leading up to his death, he vomited constantly, but was never taken to see a doctor.
The child was often beaten for vomiting or forced to do “calisthenics,” according to testimony during the trial.
“Even up until the day before his death, his mom made him run laps up and down the hallway and was screaming at him when he fell down when he was horribly undernourished,” said McCann.
Attorneys for Cuffie and Hadi were not immediately available for comment.