ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Sentence was handed down Friday in the case of Erin Virginia Mae Bell, 23, 68209 Commerce Drive, Bridgeport, who pleaded guilty to murder, a felony of the first degree, resulting from a second degree felony of endangering children. County Court Judge John M. Solovan II presided.
She was sentenced to 15 years to life for the charge of murder and eight years for endangering children. Sentences will be served concurrently.
In January of 2011 authorities were called to Lansing Garden Apartments in Wolfhurst. Bell's two-year-old daughter, Kylie Marie, was transported to Wheeling hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.
An autopsy showed blunt trauma to the head as the cause of death.
"I just want to apologize," Bell said. "I never meant for any of this to happen. I'm truly sorry."
Solovan noted Bell's failure to accept responsibility for the crime and the recklessness demonstrated.
"You're failing to appreciate the elements to the crime of murder to which you pled. You caused the death of your own child as a proximate result of committing an offense of violence," he said. "You as the parent of the child created a substantial risk of the child's safety by abusing the child."
He referenced the medical reports and timelines, noting the different times between the child's initial injury and time of death.
"The tragic death of this child could and should have been avoided," he said. "The punishment for the crime is appropriate.
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