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‘You Have That Right To Hate Me:’ Woman Who Stomped Friend’s 5-Year-Old To Death Sentenced
Julia Carter addressed the family of the child she admitted to killing at Tuesday's sentencing.
A South Dakota woman who admitted to stomping her friend’s 5-year-old son to death has been sentenced.
Julia Carter, 23, was sentenced to 40 years behind bars with 18 years suspended for the 2020 death of a boy only named as Mateo in the Mitchell Republic. Carter admitted to kicking her friend’s son five times and stomping on him once.
“I’d like to say to the family and friends of Mateo, and Mateo, that I am sorry,” Carter said at Tuesday’s sentencing. “That word means nothing to you, I know.”
On June 22, 2020, a woman called 911, stating she was on her way to the Avera Queen of Peace Hospital with a 5-year-old child who was not breathing, according to the Mitchell Police Department. The child succumbed to his injuries and died at the hospital.
An autopsy performed on June 23, 2020, revealed he died from blunt force trauma of the abdominal area, police stated. His death was ruled a homicide.
The Mitchell Republic reported it was Carter who took the boy to the hospital, according to court records obtained by the outlet. Police announced on June 24, 2020, that they placed Carter under arrest.
Carter and the child lived at the same residence, according to police.
In December, Carter pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter while mentally ill for the June 2020 attack. She was initially charged with second-degree murder, which carried a mandatory life sentence, but struck a deal with the state after her mental health was taken into consideration.
Carter’s defense called on the expert testimony of clinical psychologist Brooke Laufer, who found the defendant lived with bipolar, post-traumatic stress, and depression disorders. Laufer stated Carter was impaired and “not aware of right and wrong” until after the child’s death.
Carter addressed the boy’s mother and loved ones at Tuesday’s hearing.
“As a mother, if I was going through what you were going through, I’d feel the same way. You have that right to hate me,” said Carter. “I am truly sorry, and nothing I can do can bring him back.”
Davison County State’s Attorney Jim Miskimins also addressed the court, according to the Republic.
“This has not been a day that any of us have looked forward to. Mateo is gone. Nothing that can be said or done here today changes that fact,” said Miskimins. “It pains me to be here under these circumstances. The agreed-upon disposition here is a significant sacrifice on the part of the State and the family of Mateo and other victims in this matter, as well as the defendant.”
Carter received credit for time served, which is more than 500 days at the Davison County Jail, according to the Republic. She will serve her sentence at a state women’s prison in Pierre.