Parents of Tortured Child Finally Plead, Facing Prison Terms

VICTORVILLE – Prosecutors finally got a guilty plea from the parents of a three-year girl, who was abused and tortured to death in February 2007.

On Tuesday, officials released additional details on Kassie Joan Claw, 27, and Terrence Lee Smith, 28, who agreed to multiple years in jail after their pleas last week. They have already served six years in jail since the assault. Both also face charges of abusing another daughter, who was two-years-old.

San Bernardino County prosecutors offered a plea deal to both suspects. They face a sentencing hearing on March 15.

Claw and Smith had taken their daughter, Monique, to Victor Valley Community Hospital when she was non-responsive. Hospital officials contacted law enforcement after discovering injuries that included bruising, wounds, burns and scars, according to sheriff’s officials. Their three-year-old, who died from complications of abusive head trauma three months later, never regained consciousness after multiple surgeries to relieve pressure on her skull from brain swelling.

Original stories told by Ms. Claw was that Monique had fallen off playground equipment and that she was burned when she washed her hands, officials said. Later, Claw admitted to striking her, also saying she flung Monique against a door jamb after she urinated on the bathroom floor.

Monique was taken to Victor Valley Community Hospital, but she never regained consciousness

Originally charged with murder, torture and child abuse of Monique, along with abuse of their two-year-old daughter, Terrence Smith pleaded guilty to two felony counts of willful cruelty to a child, facing 13 years and four months in prison, according to the District Attorney’s office. Claw pleaded guilty to one felony count of child abuse. She is facing 25 years to life in prison, said court officials.

If she had lived, said a sheriff’s official, Monique never would have been able to play, eat or walk.

Read More:

High Desert Daily Press: Couple Held to Answer in Child’s Murder

High Desert Daily Press: Couple pleads guilty in 2007 child abuse death

Parents of Tortured Child Finally Plead, Facing Prison Terms was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin
Categories: San Bernardino

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