Farragut stepmom sentenced to 24 years in abuse case

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A Farragut stepmother who was found guilty of abusing her two, teenage stepsons was sentenced to 24 years on Friday.

Jessica Cox, 40, was sentenced to 24 years behind bars for what the Knox County District Attorney previously called, "heinous, atrocious and cruel" abuse against her two stepsons.

The judge on the case announced to the court that Cox's sentence symbolized 12 years for each stepson hurt without the eligibility for parole.

The court said they found no mitigating factors in regards to the mental health issues and MS diagnoses presented by the defense.

"Circumstances surrounding this crime were horrific," Judge Bob McGee noted.

A court found Cox guilty of 23 counts of aggravated child abuse and one count of reckless endangerment in March. The boys' biological father, Kenneth Michael McIntosh also plead guilty to 15 counts of aggravated child abuse and one count of child abuse.

Documents obtained by Local 8 News show on May 28, 2013, the boys escaped their Canton Hollow Road home and seeked out help at Farragut High School after being handcuffed to a kitchen cabinet and deprived of food.

After being transported to East Tennessee Children's Hospital, authorities learned the 14 and 16-year-old victims were both malnourished with injuries to their wrists from repeatedly being handcuffed. One of the boys also suffered from extensive foot injuries.

In a forensic interview, the boys told investigators their stepmom and biological father struck them with mallets and rolling pins, handcuffed them for hours on end, submerged them in ice baths, forced them to kneel on uncooked rice, and refused to feed them.

McIntosh is set to be sentenced on June 1.