A California mother who left her 2-year-old baby with cerebral palsy alone to starve to death while she indulged on a weekend-long methamphetamine binge was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison Friday.
Brandy Lee Rose Devine, 26, was found guilty of second degree murder and related charges in the July 2012 death of her daughter, Stephanie Torres.
“I want to apologize to everyone who has been affected by my actions," Devine said in court, according to the Modesto Bee. “I hope they can forgive me one day."
In Devine's trial, pathologist Eugene Carpenter testified that the child weighed only 13 pounds when she died, and had skin "like red dough" from lack of water.
Carpenter also noted that the baby's abdomen was so caved in that her spine was nearly visible, and said the child hadn't been fed or given water for days before she died.
Investigators who interviewed Devine said that the woman assumed her 6-year-old had been taking care of the special needs child while she was out smoking meth. Her defense argued that Devine did not know that not feeding the baby would result in death.
Devine had four children, ranging in age from newborn to six years old, at the time of the incident. Neighbor Lydia Whitworth described in grim detail how she found the dead baby.
"She was laying in her crib just straight, with her eyes rolled back in her head," Whitworth said. "She was dead. She was totally gray. Her diaper was full of poop and urine and it was all on the bed."