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Ohio parents plead guilty to neglect in son's cancer death

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Two Cleveland parents who had their new pit bull dog treated for fleas, but neglected to take their cancer-ridden son to doctors, pleaded guilty on Monday to one count each of attempted involuntary manslaughter.

Monica Hussing, 37 and William Robinson Sr, 40, each face up to eight years in prison in the death of their eight-year-old son, William Robinson Jr, in March 2008.

Hussing and Robinson had been charged in another Ohio county with failing to educate their six children and moved to Cleveland shortly before their son William died from Hodgkins lymphoma, a curable form of childhood cancer.

The Cuyahoga county coroner ruled his death from cancer and pneumonia a homicide and they were indicted a year after his death. They lost custody of their five other children after their arrests.

A spokesperson for the court said that Hussing and Robinson did have their new pet dog treated for fleas shortly before their son died from medical neglect.

According to a 2009 American Cancer Society report, "96 percent of children diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease will survive five or more years."

Sentencing is scheduled for February 16. They have been free on $150,000 bail since April, 2009.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by Greg McCune and David Bailey)