Mother gets 6 years in infant girl's death

December 17, 1991|By Meredith Schlow | Meredith Schlow,Evening Sun Staff

Deborah L. Sennett, 33, has been sentenced to six years in prison for beating her 7-week-old infant to death Feb. 12.

Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Alfred L. Brennan Sr. yesterday imposed a 12-year sentence and then suspended six years. The Jarrettsville woman pleaded guilty in November to second-degree murder.

Sennett, an alcoholic, was drinking heavily on the day her daughter, Amanda, was killed.

Scott Shellenberger, an assistant state's attorney who prosecuted the case, argued that Sennett had "gained the benefit of all the alcohol in this case" for it eliminated any possibility of specific intent, meaning she could not be prosecuted for first-degree murder.

Though Shellenberger said he recognized that Sennett would have to live the rest of her life with the knowledge of having killed her baby, "our society has determined that internal punishment is not enough."

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