A Redmond couple convicted last month for starving to death their 5-year-old daughter was sentenced Monday to life in prison.
Estevan Garcia and Sacora Horn-Garcia are eligible for parole in 25 years. If they are released, they will be required to have post-prison supervision for the rest of their lives according to the sentence handed down by Deschutes County Circuit Judge Beth Bagley.
In mid-October, a jury convicted the couple of aggravated murder and two counts each of criminal mistreatment – one count for withholding food, a second count for withholding proper medical care.
Maliyha Hope Garcia weighed 24 pounds when she died on December 21st, 2016.
The sentencing was emotional for District Attorney John Hummell.
“I was bothered by the mother’s statement,” he said. “The mother said she did not kill Maliyha. She told the judge and everyone in the courtroom that she is not a bad mother. And, I’m sorry, you did kill your daughter and you were a terrible mother.”
Hummel says during sentencing, Maliyha’s siblings took the stand to read prepared statements … but none could get through their testimony without breaking down.
He says it was a difficult case for everyone involved, including Redmond Police investigators, E-R doctors … even jurors, some of whom attended today’s hearing.
“This case took a toll on everyone who touched it, and our entire community, and I’m so proud of the work everyone did,” he said. “We’re not going to get Maliyah back, but today we got a little bit of justice.”
After a nearly month-long trial, the jury deliberated for less than a day before handing down the unanimous decision.
Sacora Garcia-Horn, 33, had three children when she married Estevan Garcia in December 2014. Garcia, 36, brought Maliyha, his niece who he previously adopted as his daughter.
Prosecutors had said the couple starved Maliyha to death by withholding food and restricting her movements around the family’s home.