Amanda Brumfield, the estranged daughter of actor Billy Bob Thornton, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday for aggravated manslaughter in the 2008 death her goddaughter, who died while in her care.
Brumfield was convicted on a charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child in May.
She had initially faced a murder charge for the death of 1-year-old Olivia Madison Garcia, during an overnight stay at her Ocoee home in October 2008. But Brumfield was found not-guilty of first-degree murder and aggravated child-abuse.
Brumfield had said she frequently cared for Olivia, her friend Heather Murphy’s daughter, at her home and has maintained the girl was trying to climb out of a playpen and fell a short distance, hitting her head. The defense suggested the fall may have aggravated a previous injury.
The prosecution argued it was impossible that a fall from that height caused a 3 1/2-inch fracture on the back of the girl’s skull and the bleeding and swelling found in her brain.
Brumfield, shackled at the waist and wearing a dark blue jail jumpsuit, sat at the defense table with her lawyers as she awaited her fate Thursday.
Emotions ran high as loved ones of both women, once the closest of friends, sat in Courtroom 10D of the Orange County Courthouse.
Sept. 30 would have been Olivia’s 4th birthday, Murphy said, and the sentencing fell three years to the day after the little girl’s funeral.
When the judge asked Brumfield if she had anything to say, she managed a single sentence before breaking down. “I miss Olivia just as much as anybody does,” she said.
Brumfield’s family and friends, many of whom wore white shirts in the courtroom in a show of support, were visibly angered and distraught by the sentence.
Brumfield has two children of her own as well as a stepchild. Olivia was a frequent presence in her home, and treated as part of the family, the defense said.
The defense had hoped that Judge Reginald Whitehead would hand down a more lenient sentence. He acknowledged the sadness of the situation for all involved before issuing the sentence.
Whitehead credited Brumfield for 165 days served, and also ordered payment of investigative and prosecution costs totaling about $10,000.
Outside the courthouse, Murphy said the sentence was “more than I expected … I feel justice has been served.”
However, she said, no sentence, however severe or lenient, will help ease the pain of the loss of her daughter.
WOW..SO SAD. CHILDREN ARE LOSING THEIR LIVES TO FREQUENTLY.