, Sarah A. Miller
Michelle Napolitano, 33, cries during a parole hearing at the Utah State Prison on March 15, 2011. She will serve at least another 21 months in prison. The Vernal woman was convicted of six counts of child abuse for hanging her 5-year-old son upside-down by his feet leading to the amputation of the boy's toes.

UTAH STATE PRISON — A Vernal woman who abused her son so severely that doctors had to amputate the boy's toes and parts of his feet will serve at least another 21 months in prison, the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole said Monday.

Michele Juan Napolitano was sentenced in October to serve up to 20 years in prison for the abuse she inflicted on six of her children, including her son, who was 5 years old when she used rope to bind his hands and feet and hang him upside down over a door for several days.

Earlier this month, during her first parole hearing, Napolitano said she tortured the boy because “for some reason in my head, I thought he was going to hurt me.”

When asked about hanging her son over the door, she told the hearing officer, Andy Taylor, that the boy had been suspended there for only one day. Taylor noted, however, that the boy's siblings said their mother left their brother hanging for as long as three days.

“I thought it was 24 hours,” Napolitano said. “To me maybe one day was two or three. They would run in to each other. … I'm sorry.”

Doctors told investigators the boy would have died from infection if police and social workers hadn't intervened on Dec. 31, 2009, after receiving a tip that the child was not receiving proper medical treatment.

Napolitano's next parole hearing is scheduled for December 2012.

Geoff Liesik

Twitter: GeoffLiesik