Mother Who Left Baby Daughter In A Stroller In The Desert To Die Sentenced To 20 Years in prison

August 8, 2017
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A woman from Arizona, who left her 17-month-old daughter in a stroller in the desert to die on the nation’s largest Native American reservation, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

US District Judge David Campbell said Ashley Denise Attson, 23, committed an ‘intentional, cold-hearted, horrendous killing of an innocent child,’ as he imposed the prison sentence under a plea deal.

Attson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the September 2016 killing on the Navajo Nation.

She left her daughter in the desert for 4 days and nights before retrieving the body and burying it in an animal hole, the prosecutors said Tuesday in a statement.

‘Over the next few days, she met friends for ice cream and posted pictures of herself on Facebook,’ the statement said.

The child was born with methamphetamine in her system and had been in the custody of tribal social services for most of her life before Attson regained custody about 2 months before her daughter was killed, according to prosecutors

US attorney’s spokesman Cosme Lopez declined to comment on the motive for the killing and said that he could not provide additional information on circumstances of the child’s death.

Lopez also said policy prohibited release of the child’s name because she was a juvenile so court documents refer to her as ‘Jane Doe.’

The plea agreement said that the maximum punishment that Attson could have received under her guilty plea to the murder charge was life in prison.

The child was afraid, in physical distress and ‘needing the one person who is supposed to care for her the most, that being the mother,’ said Bernadine Martin, former chief prosecutor for the Navajo Nation. ‘And 20 years is simply not enough.’

Attson will be spending 20 years in prison followed by supervised release for five years.

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