BRONSON (WWJ/AP) – A 23-year-old southern Michigan woman has been sentenced to three to 15 years in prison in the death of her 5-month-old daughter.
Mariela Flores-Valle, of Bronson, was sentenced Monday after pleading no contest Jan. 7 to involuntary manslaughter in the death of Diane Perez. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed two original life felony charges of homicide and first degree child abuse.
An autopsy determined that Diane died last February of “enormous traumatic injuries – blunt force injuries to the head.” Prosecutors have said the child had a skull fracture. There were also signs of prior abuse, including a broken arm and broken ribs, according to reports. Investigators say all of the injuries were likely caused by ongoing child abuse, at the hands of Flores-Valle.
Flores-Valle initially told police her daughter fell off a couch the night before she called for medical help when the baby stopped breathing. Paramedics were able to revive the baby, but she died at the hospital the next day.
Afterward the baby’s death, Child Protective Services removed her twin brother and two other children from the family’s home.
Flores-Valle is a Mexican national who has lived in the U.S. most of her life. She was living in America legally as the wife of U.S.-born Fernando Garcia until their divorce in 2009. A judge said she could face deportation at the discretion of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
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