First Assistant County Attorney Jeannine Ritchie fought tears as she made a statement at the end of the plea hearing for Josie Bousman on Friday, Feb. 1.
“This case comes to a close after a long several months,” Ritchie said. “Ms. Bousman is here as the last defendant in the number of charges that were filed against the family members.”
Five family members pleaded guilty and were sentenced to various prison sentences in connection to the death of 16-year-old Sabrina Ray.
Sabrina’s adoptive parents, Misty and Marc Ray, were sentenced to life in prison and 80 years in prison, respectively on Jan. 18, 2019. Carla Raye Bousman, Sabrina’s adoptive grandmother, was sentenced to 20 years on April 6. Justin Bousman, Sabrina’s adoptive brother, was the first to be sentenced to 10 years in February of 2018.
Bousman, Sabrina’s adoptive cousin, was the latest family member to plead guilty during the Feb. 1 hearing. Judge Terry Rickers sentenced Bousman to 14 years in prison at the end of the hearing.
Bousman, 22, pleaded guilty to three amended charges, including one count of neglect of a dependent person, a Class C felony, and two counts of child endangerment, an aggravated misdemeanor.
“On May 12 (2017) I locked her in a room alone and unattended,” Bousman said of Sabrina Ray.
Judge Terry Rickers then asked if Bousman took any action to provide Sabrina with the attention or care she needed to prevent her death.
“I did not,” Bousman said.
For the two counts of child endangerment, Bousman admitted to also locking the minor children MR and HR in the same room as Sabrina.
The State later read three victim impact statements. Two of those statements came from MR and HR, while the third was from MR’s new mother.
“You were supposed to be my cousin. You were supposed to love me,” the victim impact statement from MR read.
Instead, Bousman treated MR poorly. MR’s statement went on to add that she wished Bousman was a nice cousin to her.
She also wished that Bousman had told someone about what was happening to MR and her sisters.
“You could have saved my sister, Sabrina, the day she died. It could have ended up different,” MR’s statement said.
Bousman broke down into tears as the statement from MR was read during the Feb. 1 hearing.
“What you did to me hurt me so bad. Now I get new clothes and I’m treated right by my new mom and family,” the statement read. “I am way better off without you ever in my life again.”
A victim impact statement from HR said while Bousman didn’t play as big of a role as Marc or Misty, she still contributed to Sabrina’s death.
“Thank you though for defending us and helping us to get them put in prison for the rest of their lives,” HR’s statement read, as Bousman could be heard crying. “I really wish you could have gotten us out sooner.”
Ritchie said Bousman stepped forward early in the case and offered her cooperation. Bousman is young enough and Ritchie said “I think the efforts to rehabilitate her will be worth it.”
“She has experienced the influence of a very evil person and that is Misty Ray,” Ritchie said. “If she can overcome that influence and manipulation that that woman impressed upon her, Ms. Bousman has the opportunity to put her life on track.”
Rickers then sentenced Bousman to an indeterminate prison sentence not to exceed 10 years for the charge of neglect of a dependent person.
He also sentenced Bousman to two two-year prison sentences for the two counts of child endangerment. All three sentences will run consecutively.
“When you see your cousin, Sabrina, clearly, clearly on the verge of death and take no action whatsoever to try to save her, it makes everyone wonder why couldn’t you summon something of your heart or your soul to do the right thing and help those girls,” Rickers said.
While the case is “incomprehensible,” Rickers added that the Feb. 1 hearing was not the final chapter.
“Sabrina will live on in the hearts of everyone in this room,” Ritchie said with tears in her eyes.