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'You are a murderer': Judge berates mother who starved child to death

During the trial, the mom said she's not a murderer but a person who made a terrible mistake.

BEND, Ore — Redmond parents who starved their 5-year-old daughter to death have been sentenced to life in prison.

The Bulletin reports 33-year-old Sacora Horn-Garcia and 35-year-old Estevan Garcia were sentenced Monday in Deschutes County Circuit Court in the 2016 death of Maliyha Hope Garcia.

The couple was found guilty by a jury of murder by abuse and criminal mistreatment after a weeks long trial. They’ll be eligible for parole in 25 years.

Garcia expressed regret but stopped short of admitting intentionally starving his daughter.

Horn-Garcia said she’s not a murderer but a person who made a terrible mistake by not taking the child to the hospital. She also blamed the media for making her look bad.

But Deschutes County Circuit Judge Beth Bagley wasn't hearing it.

"You're not sorry about what you did to Maliyha," Bagley said in court. "You can stand here today and say that you were a good mother. I will tell you that a good mother does not starve a child. A good mother does not talk about a child in the way that you did. A good mother does not confine a child in the way that you did. A good mother doesn't do anything that you did to Maliyha. You were not a good mother to her. You murdered her and you are a murderer."

Maliyha was adopted by the couple shortly after the girl was born. Biologically, Garcia is the girl's uncle. She was taken away from her mother after testing positive for methamphetamine. 

The little girl died on Dec. 21, 2016 and weighed 24 pounds at the time of her death.

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