Mother Sentenced for Killing Daughter With Salt Overdose
LEAD: A woman was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison for force-feeding her 4-year-old daughter a fatal dose of salt as punishment for stealing sugar.
A woman was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison for force-feeding her 4-year-old daughter a fatal dose of salt as punishment for stealing sugar.
The mother, Beth Michelle Riggs, 36 years old, was convicted of second-degree murder for the death of her adopted daughter, Heather Riggs, in May. Mrs. Riggs wept as Judge Kenneth Trabue of the Roanoke County Circuit Court imposed the sentence.
The prosecutor had asked for the maximum prison sentence of 20 years while the defense attorney had requested a sentence of 12 years, to be suspended after six years. The defense attorney said Mrs. Riggs never intended to kill her daughter.
Earlier Tuesday, Mrs. Riggs testified that she force-fed the child an undetermined amount of salt on May 16 as punishment for stealing sugar but did not know that the amount would be fatal.