HOUSTON – A woman who abused and starved her 5-year-old stepson nearly to death was sentenced to 28 years in prison Monday night.
Tammi Bleimeyer, 38, was found guilty Thursday of injuring and endangering a child, according to court documents.
“He was nearly starved to death,” Assistant District Attorney Stephen Driver said. “Doctors compared his state of malnourishment to that of a Holocaust survivor.”
Jordan Bleimeyer was found in a small closet under the stairs, emaciated and hurt, by investigators in 2014, authorities said. The family dubbed the crawlspace the “Harry Potter Room,” prosecutors announced Monday.
Jordan was forced to sleep beneath the stairs in the unfinished space with exposed nails and wiring. He wore only a diaper and was often given only a slice of bread to eat, and that was snatched away from him if he took too long to eat it. He weighed 29 pounds when he was rescued.
He was taken into Child Protective Services custody, where he remained for six to eight months after he was found. He was released to a great aunt.
Monday morning, a jury made up of nine women and three men heard from witnesses, including the woman who adopted three of Bleimeyer’s biological children after Child Protective Services placed them in her home in 2014.
She said she has had to reteach the children because when they first arrived, they had behavioral issues such as lying and manipulation.
Matt Horak, Bleimeyer’s attorney, asked if she thought the behavioral issues were because the kids left their home. She said she believes they learned the behavior from their biological mother.
The prosecutor also brought in two witnesses from Child Protective Services who detailed their time working with Bleimeyer.
Last week, the boy’s stepbrother and stepsister testified at Bleimeyer’s trial and described their mother as the leader of the family and “in control.”
Jordan’s brother, Cody Frank, 21, said his stepfather, Bradley Bleimeyer, was physically abusive and that he could sometimes hear the sounds of someone being shocked by a Taser and Jordan screaming for Bradley Bleimeyer to stop.
“It's no mystery why we are all here, Frank said. "You made a big mistake and ultimately have to face the consequences. I'm up here asking the rhetorical question of, 'How could you put your children through all of that?'” Frank said.
Bradley Bleimeyer was convicted in 2016 and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
“I love you and I'll never forget all the good things that happened," said Dylan, another one of Tammi Bleimeyer's children. "I hope that you take care of yourself and fix whatever led you to this point.”
Jordan’s sister, Allison Frank, echoed many of the same scenarios described by Cody Frank, saying no one was allowed talk to Jordan or give him food.
Allison Frank also described Tammi Bleimeyer as “manipulating” and “often playing the victim” in order to get her way.
Jordan is now in the custody of his biological mother.