The Turlock mother who let her 2-year-old daughter die slowly over a three day period from lack of food and water will be spending the next decade and a half in prison.
Brandy Lee Rose Devine was sentenced Friday morning in Stanislaus County Superior Court to 15 years to life for the death of her daughter Stephanie Torres. Devine was convicted in November of second-degree murder, a felony charge of willful cruelty to a child causing great bodily injury and/or death, and a misdemeanor charge of using a controlled substance.
Judge Dawna Frenchie Reeves also sentenced Devine to 10 years for the willful cruelty charge, noting Devine’s “high degree of callousness to a particularly vulnerable victim.” The misdemeanor drug charge drew a 90 day sentence. Both of the sentences for count two and three were stayed by Reeves.
Stephanie was put into her crib on the afternoon of July 13, 2012, and was found dead on the afternoon of July 16, 2012. During that time she was kept in a filthy room with several cats and was not given any food or water.
Medical examiner Dr. Eugene Carpenter testified that Stephanie died of acute dehydration and malnutrition.
During her interview with police detectives, Devine said she was feeling ill that weekend and didn’t really know why she never checked on Stephanie, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. She said she thought her oldest daughter, who was 6 years at the time, was taking care of the 2-year-old. She also admitted that she smoked methamphetamine Sunday night, prior to Stephanie’s body being found.
For the first time, Devine made a statement in court taking responsibility for her crimes and apologizing to her family.
“I accept full responsibility for my actions and apologize for them,” Devine said. “I want to say sorry to my children … that they will have to grow up without me. I want to say sorry to my mom, dad, brother, and sisters and all my family that I will have to live away from them. Most of all I’m sorry to my daughter Stephanie.”
Devine went on to thank her family for their support and hoped they would be able to forgive her one day.
Several members of Devine’s family were present at the sentencing hearing but nobody opted to speak on her behalf or for the deceased toddler.
Devine will be remanded over to the state correction’s department on Jan. 3, 2014.