Sect pair offered plea deal in baby's starvation death

Bristol County prosecutors have offered plea bargains to two Attleboro sect members set to face trial in connection with the 51-day starvation death of infant Samuel Robidoux, a source said yesterday.

``There are only discussions going on right now,'' said a source.

A deal is in the works with Karen Robidoux, the mother of the 11-month-old infant, who allegedly deprived her son of table food, and Michelle Mingo, the boy's aunt, who said his diet of only breast milk came to her in a vision from God.

Robidoux, 26, is scheduled to be tried on Sept. 3 on a second-degree murder charge. If found guilty, she would automatically be sentenced to life in prison, but would be eligible for parole in 15 years.

If she accepts the prosecutors' plea, Robidoux would serve 10 years on a reduced charge of manslaughter, the source said.

``If she's going to take a deal, she's going to do at least 10 years,'' the source said.

Mingo, 37, is charged with accessory before the fact of assault and battery and is a first-time offender.

If she pleads guilty, she would be released with time served, said the source. She's already served more than two years in jail.

Samuel Robidoux died three days before his first birthday on April 26, 1999, after his parents allegedly starved him to death over a 51-day period. His father, Jacques Robidoux, 29, was found guilty June 14 of first-degree murder and will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

In 1999, Mingo allegedly told the couple that God wanted Karen Robidoux to feed young Samuel only breast milk, but since she was pregnant, she couldn't produce enough milk to nourish her son.