A judge sentenced Jessica Warren to 13 to 17 years in prison Monday for beating her 4-year-old daughter to death in 2014.
Warren, who pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder, said she did not intend to kill her child.
Superior Court Judge Orlando F. Hudson Jr.’s sentence was in line with what Assistant District Attorney Boz Zellinger had requested. Warren will get credit for 711 days she has served.
Hudson recommended work release as soon as Warren is eligible. He also ordered that Warren have no contact with the victim’s family, including her own son, and that she never be in a position of authority over a child.
According to the state’s case, Warren repeatedly beat Armani Hodges with a leather belt and “possibly fists” on Sept. 25, 2014, because of Hodges’ urinary incontinence.
The state medical examiner reported that Armani died of severe trauma to the abdominal area, which led to a lacerated liver and other injuries. Warren was arrested the next day and charged with first-degree murder.
Warren’s attorney, Daniel Meier, said in a hearing two years ago that Warren was jailed for approximately 18 months before being released on house arrest.
Warren made a brief, tearful apology before being sentenced.
“I made some poor decisions that cost me my child’s life,” she said. “I just want to say I’m sorry.”
Meier asked for a sentence in the range of 10 to 13 years, but Hudson went with the longer range the state requested.
“The injury that this child suffered was horrific,” Zellinger said, “and the fact that it was ongoing makes it worse.”
Armani’s aunt, Kisha White, said she has woken up every day since Armani’s death and hoped it was a nightmare.
“She didn’t have to suffer and this didn’t have to happen,” she said. “I hope the court will do what it has to do.”
After the hearing, bailiffs kept Hodges’ family seated as they waited to make sure Warren’s family had left the courthouse.