Killpack Sentenced To Up To 15 Years For Daughter's Water Punishment
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 6, 2006
PROVO, UTAH-- Jennete Killpack was sentenced Friday to between one and 15 years in prison for killing her 4-year-old adopted daughter. The exact length of the incarceration, which begins January 13, will be up to the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole.
"She still refuses to acknowledge and take responsibility for her actions," said 4th District Judge Claudia Laycock before sentencing Killpack, 29.
A jury found Killpack guilty three months ago of felony second-degree child abuse homicide after hearing testimony that she punished Cassandra for "misbehavior" on June 9, 2002 by forcing her to stand on a bar stool, then 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 for her. The theory behind the approach was that this would cause her to "bond" with her new mother.
Prosecutors said Killpack forced the girl to drink over a gallon of water as punishment for taking a sip of juice from her baby sister'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.
"I greatly fear that this child suffered far more than we will ever understand," Laycock said.
"Just as she explained to the jury that she felt an obligation to teach Cassandra about consequences, there are also consequences today for her actions," Laycock added before pronouncing sentence.
Mr. Killpack was acquitted of the same charges.
"Killpack receives prison sentence" (Deseret News)
"Mom gets up to 15" (Herald News)
"Prison for mom in fatal water therapy" (Salt Lake Tribune)