Sat, 13 April 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Mother who left baby at home for 10-day vacation gets life for murder

Update : 23 Mar 2024, 11:45

An Ohio woman whose toddler died after she left her at home to go on a 10-day vacation last summer has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Kristel Candelario, 32, pleaded guilty last month to the aggravated murder of her daughter, 16-month-old Jailyn. Prosecutors said she left the toddler alone in a playpen in their Cleveland home in June while she traveled to Detroit and Puerto Rico.

When she returned from her trip, she found Jailyn unresponsive and called police, according to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. She changed her child’s clothes before emergency responders arrived and pronounced her dead shortly thereafter.

The toddler was “extremely dehydrated” at the time of her death, prosecutors said, and medical examiners determined that she had died of starvation and dehydration. She weighed 13 pounds — about seven pounds less than what was recorded at her last doctor’s visit about two months prior, Elizabeth Mooney, the deputy Cuyahoga County medical examiner, told the court Monday.

County Common Pleas Court Judge Brendan Sheehan said the toddler’s death “wasn’t simply an oversight” and told Candelario she had several opportunities to intervene and save her daughter’s life.

“You committed the ultimate act of betrayal, leaving your baby terrified, alone, unprotected, to suffer what I’ve heard was the most gruesome death imaginable, with no food, no water, no protection,” he said. He also accused Candelario of having showed “no remorse.”

In court Monday, he compared Candelario’s life sentence to the confinement her daughter must have suffered before her death.

“The only difference will be that prison will at least feed you and give you liquids that you denied her,” he said.

Candelario also has an older daughter. It’s unclear where she was at the time of her mother’s vacation in June.

 Her attorney, Derek Smith, did not immediately respond to a request comment. At her sentencing, he said Candelario had suffered from depression and mental health issues, although she was ruled fit to stand trial.

“There’s no justification for her actions,” Smith said, calling it the “absolutely worst parenting imaginable.” He insinuated that treatment she received for mental and physical problems before June had been insufficient.

Candelario addressed the judge and the court Monday, saying that Jailyn’s death has caused her “so much pain” and that she hopes her parents and daughter will forgive her.

“I am not trying to justify my actions, but nobody knew how much I was suffering and what I was going through,” she said, through a Spanish interpreter. Wasington Post 

More on this topic

More on this topic