September 16, 2014
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say a Southern California mother whose 4-year-old daughter weighed 18 pounds when she was abandoned at a hospital has been sentenced to two years in jail.
The Orange County Register reports 36-year-old Antonia Benitez received her sentence Friday immediately after pleading guilty to three felony counts of child abuse.
Police say the girl was severely underweight and suffering from malnutrition and open wounds when Benitez left her at a Santa Ana hospital last June.
Authorities say that at the time the girl was brought to the hospital, she was less than half the weight she should have been.
Benitez, a single mother, lived with her nine children in a Santa Ana home. Police believe that the 4-year-old was the only child who suffered from abuse.
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