Sentencing For Mom Who Killed Daughter Stalled One Month
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 13, 2005
PROVO, UTAH--The sentencing of Jennete Killpack, who was convicted in October of killing her 4-year-old adopted daughter, has been postponed for a month.
Killpack's defense attorney Michael D. Esplin filed motions last week claiming that a pre-sentencing report was delivered to him a day late, and that the report contained "inaccuracies in the form of errors and omissions".
A jury found Killpack guilty on October 11 of second-degree child abuse homicide after hearing that she punished Cassandra for "misbehavior" on June 9, 2002 by tying the girl's hands behind her back and making her drink a lethal amount of water.
Mrs. Killpack and her husband, Richard, had received advice from a now-closed treatment program to treat Cassandra's "reactive attachment disorder" by giving her what she wanted -- but to give her so much it would be uncomfortable. The theory behind the approach was that this would cause her to "bond" with her new mother.
Killpack forced the girl to drink between one and two gallons of water as punishment for taking a sip of juice from a sibling's cup. The large amount of water caused Cassandra's sodium levels to fall, and her brain to then swell to a lethal size within her skull.
In the motion filed last Wednesday, Esplin said that the pre-sentencing report failed to consider the impact Cassandra's diagnosis had on her mother's behavior, and failed to faithfully represent the effect a prison term would have on Mrs. Killpack's mental health.
According to the Deseret News, the motion also states that the report gave no indication that the investigator read references or letters from family members who knew Killpack and witnessed her interactions with Cassandra.
The sentencing hearing has been rescheduled to January 6.