WOMAN GETS 3 YEARS IN PRISON IN DEATH OF ADOPTED DAUGHTER

Date: 2003-11-08

Author: From staff reports

A Fairfield County judge yesterday sentenced a Lancaster woman to three years in prison for the shaken-baby death of her adopted 2-year-old daughter.

Susan J. Bennett, 41, who pleaded no contest to the crime and was found guilty, will serve the sentence handed down by Common Pleas Judge Chris Martin beginning Dec. 1.

Prosecutors initially charged Bennett with child endangering and reckless homicide in the death of her Russian-born adopted daughter, Maria, who had lived with her for about nine months. The child-endangering charge was later dropped because both charges would have merged had the case gone to trial.

Assistant Prosecutor Gregg Marx had recommended Bennett serve four years in prison, but said he was pleased with the outcome. "The state is satisfied with the court's sentence in this case and believes that it was fair."

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