Pennsylvania Mother, Acquitted of Murder, Still Gets 3½ to 7 Years in Child's Beating Death

Judges tells woman: "I hope that every night you hear him scream"

An eastern Pennsylvania woman acquitted of murder in the beating death of her toddler has been sentenced to 3½ to seven years on a conviction of endangering the welfare of a child.

The (Easton) Express-Times reports that a Lehigh County judge imposed the maximum sentence Monday on 35-year-old Essence James of Allentown.

A jury last week convicted James of the lesser charge but acquitted her of third-degree murder in the March 2013 death of Cordero James.

Judge Maria Dantos said several jurors had told her that they believed James had killed the child but that her guilt hadn't been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

She said she hoped the defendant would be haunted by the child's death, telling her "I hope that every night you hear him scream." 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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