Woman Sentenced In Stepdaughter's Malnutrition Death

Judge Calls Woman's Actions 'Brutal And Horrible'

A judge has sentenced a central Indiana woman to 50 years in prison in the malnutrition and salt poisoning death of her 5-year-old stepdaughter.

A Delaware County judge on Tuesday gave the maximum sentence to Brittany McConniel, 25, of Muncie, for what he called "the brutal and horrible nature" of Lauren McConniel's death.

McConniel was convicted in May on child neglect charges.

The Star Press reported that Lauren died in March 2010 after weighing 28 pounds when she was hospitalized with lethal salt levels.

McConniel cried while telling the judge that while she let Lauren down, her conviction was based on lies and that she would appeal her case.

Lauren's father, Ryan McConniel, testified against his now-former wife and is expected to plead guilty to child neglect, with a maximum 20-year sentence.