HALL COUNTY, Georgia — A Georgia mother accused of starving her 5-year-old daughter before she died weighing just under 8 pounds was sentenced to 20 years’ probation on Monday.
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Kylie Mickens was born with the rare 1p36 deletion syndrome, which causes poor muscle tone and brain abnormalities. People with the syndrome also have seizures and difficulty swallowing, WSB-TV reported.
The child died of dehydration and malnutrition due to medical neglect, according to the autopsy report.
Kylie’s mother, Porscha Mickens, testified how difficult it is to care for a child with the condition, arguing that her daughter eats the same amount every day and that she often gains and loses weight every day, the TV network reported.
“I didn’t know she was dying. … (when) her body shut down, I had seen that before, so I didn’t think she was going to die,” Mickens testified.
Prosecutors had asked Porscha Mickens to serve a 30-year sentence with 25 jail terms and five suspended sentences, but Mickens accepted a plea deal on second-degree murder and child cruelty charges, WSB-TV reported.
Supreme Court Justice C. Andrew Fuller said during Monday’s trial that the facts under the law did not require Porscha Mickens to go to jail, but that he hoped her daughter’s death would be punishment enough, the TV network reported.
“The court can only hope that by that fact alone you will suffer a greater punishment than any punishment this court could inflict on you, the fact that you have lost Kylie and will not have her in your life for the rest of your life said Fuller.
When 5-year-old Kylie Mickens arrived at a Hall County hospital in June 2020, she weighed just 2 pounds more than she did when she was born, according to the Gainesville Times.
Her official weight when she died on June 8, 2021 was just under 8 pounds, WSB-TV reported.
Assistant District Attorney Anna Fowler said Kylie Mickens was suffering from the worst case of malnutrition and dehydration doctors had ever seen and she “looked like a mummy”.
Meanwhile, more than a dozen of Porscha Mickens’ friends and family members have supported her throughout the process and testified that she had taken constant care of her daughter, taking her to 14 specialists and a naturopathic doctor, WSB-TV reported.
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