LANSING (WWJ/AP) – A 21-year-old Lansing woman convicted of murder in the beating death of her 2-year-old son has been sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison.

In Ingham County Circuit Court on Wednesday, Mercedes Kemp maintained her innocence, but apologized to the court and her family, and for the choices she made.

“Never in a million years would I have guessed that this would happen to me,” Kemp said in court. “I would never guess that my baby Brandon would ever be killed … and I would never guess I would be standing here before you, fighting for my life.”

A jury earlier convicted Kemp of second-degree murder, torture and child abuse in Brandon Kemp’s death last year.

Defense lawyer Stacia Buchanan has said Kemp was a victim of domestic violence, who had been “lured into a nightmare” and trapped by her boyfriend, 25-year-old Marcus Hill — who is expected to stand trial April 22 on a murder charge in Brandon’s death.

Kemp, who testified on her own behalf during the trial, said Hill beat Brandon because he wasn’t potty-trained, The Lansing State Journal reported.

Prosecutors said Brandon, whose body was covered in bruises, had been beaten so badly his heart was bruised and there was hemorrhaging in his spinal cord.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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