KINGMAN, Ariz. -- A young mother from Bullhead City, Ariz., who failed to protect her infant son from fatal abuse authorities say was inflicted by her former boyfriend was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday.
Staci Barbosa, 20, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the June 2010 death of 5-week-old Matthew Vandergriff.
The malnourished and dehydrated baby died after he was flown to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas. The child's injuries included bruises all over his body, with a broken leg and fractured ribs.
In her letter that was read to the court in Kingman on Friday, Barbosa accepted responsibility for failing to get Matthew out of harm's way. Yet she and defense attorney Sandra Carr also said Barbosa was terrified of Matthew's father Jonathon Vandergriff, who authorities allege dominated and bullied her in belligerent fashion.
Vandergriff, 25, is awaiting trial on murder and child abuse charges.