SAN ANTONIO, Tex. — A mother was found guilty of starving her two young children. On Thursday, jurors sentenced 24 year old Kayela McClintick to 20 years behind bars. McClintick was found guilty on two counts of injury to a child by omission on Wednesday.
It took jurors about two hours to hand down the sentence.
During the punishment phase of the trial, McClintick took the stand, telling jurors that she still did not feel guilty about starving her children.
The girls were left at this home in an upstairs bedroom. Medical experts testified at the trial that the younger girl had protruding ribs, a distended stomach and clumps of hair missing
During the trial McClintick took the stand, telling jurors that she still did not feel guilty.
‘I take responsibility,’ said McClintick. ‘They are my kids, but I do not feel guilty about it.’
McClintick also stated that if she would have known that her two children were that bad off, she “would have acted on it.”
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Child Protective Services and police responded to a report of child abuse at her home in 2012.
When they got there they found McClintick’s six-year-old daughter in a closet and her two-year-old girl in an upstairs bedroom.
Both children were starving and dehydrated – so much so the toddler had to be taken to hospital.
Prosecutors told the jury that she forced the girls to stay in the closet when she stripped and performed lap dances for men at their home.
Medical experts testified at the trial that the younger girl had protruding ribs, a distended stomach and clumps of hair missing.
Her defense attorney tried to convince jurors to find some leniency in their approach by telling the McClintick was already facing enough punishment because her kids were taken away from her.
‘For the fact that mom was stripping, that mom was an escort, that she was drinking alcohol and partying while her children were starving,’ said prosecutor Catherine Wilson.
‘We’re not asking to walk away scot-free,’ said defense attorney Kenneth Bell. ‘We’re not asking to be released today. What she is asking is, in lieu of 99 years to life, to have the ability to be rehabilitated.’
McClintick could have faced life in prison, but jurors sentenced her to 20 years.
McClintick will be eligible for parole in 10 years.
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