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For week ended December 12, 1999 Posted 18 Dec 1999

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Mother Who Starved Girl Sentenced to Prison

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Mother Who Starved Girl Sentenced to Prison
Salt Lake Tribune 7Dec99 D2
By Stephen Hunt: Salt Lake Tribune

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- A mother whose malnourished 6-year-old girl ran away last March and went door-to-door begging for food was sentenced to up to five years in prison Monday. The child ran away from a van where she had been left by her abusive mother while the mother was going to see an LDS Bishop to get food.

Lezlee Magee, as Mormon-News reported in March, was abused as a wife and as a child. She was the parent of four children, including the 6-year-old girl, Kayla, and three sons as well as a 19-year-old adult. She has given up all parental rights to the children.

When Magee's defense attorney argued for probation, prosecutor James Cope said that Magee deserved a prison sentence for her abuse, "Starvation is the most abject form of neglect -- to deny the existence of a child while she's still here." The Judge agreed with the prosecution, sentencing her to up to 5 years, following Magee's guilty plea to third-degree felony child abuse.

Magee had been convicted before, in 1991, of misdemeanor child abuse in the death of a 5-week-old daughter. The Salt Lake Tribune article details the abuse Kayla suffered and how she escaped, as well as her current status. The prosecutor reports that Kayla is doing well now.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information