The 32-year-old Brooklyn mother who was convicted of starving her little girl to death and chaining her to her bed when she tried to sneak food was sentenced this afternoon to the maximum time in prison.
Carlotta Brett-Pierce was sentenced to a total of 32 years to life in prison for killing her toddler daughter, Marchella Brett-Pierce.
Little Marchella died on September 2, 2010. The four-year-old girl weighed only 18 pounds at the time of her death. She was found to be severely dehydrated and malnourished. Her body and face were also covered with blunt impact injuries.
Marchella lived with her mother and grandmother, Loretta Brett, 57. In the months leading up to her death, her mother would often bind the child to her SpongeBob Square Pants toddler bed and restrain her for hours at a time, even all night long.
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The bed was kept in the grandmother, Loretta’s, bedroom. The grandmother was also sentenced today to the maximum of 15 years in prison.
When the starving toddler once tried to sneak food from the fridge, she was tied to her bed as punishment.
In addition to battering Marchella and depriving her of food and water, Brett-Pierce also force-fed her over-the-counter medication, including Claritin and Benadryl, to keep her sedated. It took a jury less than an hour last month to find Bretty-Pierce guilty of the charges.
But the mother insisted today to the Brooklyn court that she’s a good mother.
"I want people to see I'm a loving and caring mother of three," said Brett Pierce, according to the New York Daily News, referring to her dead daughter and he two surviving sons, both of which are now in foster care.
"By no means am I a malicious or vindictive person,” she continued. “I'm not perfect. I lacked the knowledge, education and economics to care for such a sick baby."
Marchella was born prematurely, and spent the first three-and-a-half years of her short life in a hospital. She also had breathing problems.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Patricia DiMango was not swayed.
"Marchella lived in a hell created and maintained by you," DiMango said, according to the News.
One of Marchella’s brothers, who Brett-Pierce has been barred from seeing for the next 100 years, brought food and water to his baby sister’s funeral.
"I hope she gets enough food and water in heaven," prosecutor Jacqueline Kagan quoted him as saying, according to the News.
Two social workers assigned to the family were also charged with criminally negligent homicide.