Local News

Tuesday, Mar 19 2013 11:40 AM

Mother sentenced to 10 years in connection with daughter's death

BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer jkotowski@bakersfield.com

A mother who failed to report signs of her daughter’s ongoing abuse was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday morning in what Judge Charles R. Brehmer called “a really horrible, horrible case.”

Angela Monique Hanna, 30, pleaded no contest in September to four counts of willful cruelty to a child in connection with the death of 3-year-old Trinity Hanna. Prosecutors said that although she didn’t physically abuse the child, she also didn’t report the injuries her boyfriend is accused of inflicting on the girl.

Deputy District Attorney Kim Richardson said after sentencing that she was limited as to how much she could comment because she still has to prosecute Hanna’s boyfriend, Eric Foster. Richardson said she’s hoping Hanna testifies against Foster, who faces life in prison without parole if convicted of crimes including murder and torture.

Mark Anthony Raimondo, Hanna’s attorney, said they accepted the plea deal because they felt it was in Hanna’s best interests to get closure. He said Hanna loved Trinity.

“She’s absolutely remorseful, from the moment I met her until today,” Raimondo said.

The attorney said Foster was manipulative and dishonest, and Hanna wants to testify against him to tell her side of what happened.

Trinity died Jan. 24, 2012. Kern County sheriff's reports filed in court said Foster, 27, confessed to physically abusing and killing the girl.

In her last weeks alive, Trinity suffered "water burns, genital trauma, intestinal tears, and a head injury" that led to her death, the reports said. Hanna waited three days before getting medical help for Trinity's burns, never sought treatment for her daughter's genital injuries and waited about a full day before taking Trinity to a hospital for her head injury.

The reports say "Foster confessed to intentionally burning Trinity's back with hot water, slamming her down on a bicycle seat injuring her vagina and intentionally causing Trinity to fall and strike her head on a coffee table." The abuse occurred in three separate incidents over one month.

He at first denied hurting the child, but after failing a polygraph Foster told deputies he caused her injuries, the reports said. Foster had been living with Trinity and her mother in Taft since the end of November.

Foster’s trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 19.

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