FALL RIVER, MASS. (WHDH) - A Fall River man was sentenced to life in prison this week for the death of his 14-year-old son after he pleaded guilty to second degree murder charges.

John Almond’s son, David, who had autism, was found dead inside his Fall River home in 2020. It was later determined that he died from starvation, neglect and abuse.

Prosecutors said the conditions in David’s home were deplorable, with thousands of fentanyl bags found inside. 

The DA’s office said David was happy at school before his father regained custody of his siblings. In addition to David, one of his siblings was also found malnourished with fentanyl in his system as investigators began looking into this case. 

John Almond’s life sentence comes with eligibility for parole in 20 years. 

Almond was arraigned alongside his girlfriend, Jaclyn Marie Coleman, on charges linked to his son’s death back in 2020.  

The Bristol County District Attorney’s office at the time said officers responded to a 911 call reporting an unresponsive boy to find Coleman performing CPR on David. 

The DA’s office said David was rushed to an area hospital, where he died. 

David’s siblings were taken into the custody of the Department of Children and Families after David’s death. 

The state Office of the Child Advocate announced findings in 2021 that identified a multi-system failure before David’s death. 

Among other things, the Office of the Child Advocate called the decision to reunify the children in this case with John Almond and Coleman “a serious error that was compounded by the [COVID-19] pandemic.”

The office issued recommendations based on its findings, which it said it would work with various agencies and officials to implement.

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