Indianapolis mother sentenced to 30 years for locking 4 children in closet

2 of the 4 children died of asphyxiation

INDIANAPOLIS - An Indianapolis mother who locked her children in a closet for more than 10 hours, leading to the deaths of two, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Ebyan Farah pleaded guilty to two counts of neglect of a dependent causing death.

In September 2010, Farah placed four of her children inside a 6-foot by 1.5-foot closet in the Manchester Village Apartments on Indianapolis’ southwest side.

Farah placed a mattress against the closet door so the children could not get out. She left them no food or water.

Zuhur, 4, and Zakariya, 3, did not survive.

"They died from asphyxia, they were unable to breathe. They were crushed by their own sibling," Deputy Prosecutor Karen Jensen said. "I can't imagine how horrible that was. A mattress is up against it, there is little air flow. There is no light. There is blood where they injured themselves on the track in the closet."

The judge sentenced Farah to 30 years in prison followed by 10 years on home detention and 10 years on probation.

"They hoped until they literally died for their mother to come back," said Judge Lisa Borges, prior to handing down the sentence. "When she did, it was too late.”

Farah has been tested and treated by a trio of doctors. Some say she is schizophrenic and others say she is feigning mental illness. She is taking medication, but that medication will not be taken behind bars.

"She has a very serious mental disease or defect. The court took all that into consideration in making the court's decision," said Farah’s attorney, Jim Voyles.

Farah cannot have contact with her three surviving children who live in Kenya with their grandmother.

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