A Florida woman was sentenced to life in prison Friday for killing her 9-year-old cousin by sitting on the child as a form of punishment.
Veronica Green Posey, 66, was sentenced after jurors convicted her of first-degree felony murder, the Pensacola News Journal reported.
Dericka Lindsay had suffered horrific beatings from Posey, and Lindsay’s adoptive parents, James and Grace Smith, when she didn’t behave, prosecutors said. Paramedics and deputies responded to the family’s Pensacola home following a 911 call in October 2017. Posey sat on Lindsay for more than five minutes, causing the girl to die from a lack of oxygen, officials said.
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The girl allegedly yelled that she could not breathe during the incident, the Pensacola News Journal reported.
Posey’s attorney said the woman, who weighs approximately 320 pounds, was trying to help the Smiths and did not mean to hurt the girl.
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The medical examiner said Lindsay had “severe bruising on her buttocks” due to “injury, on top of injury, on top of injury,” the Pensacola News Journal reported.
James Smith was previously sentenced to 10 years for his role in Lindsay’s death. Grace Smith still faces charges but is currently mentally and physically unfit to stand trial.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.