A Michigan woman admitted in court Wednesday that she didn’t feed her 16-year-old daughter for “a couple weeks” and that she didn’t try to get help before the girl starved to death.
Cari Ann Wright, 44, of Onondaga Township was the sole caregiver for Hannah Warner, who was born with physical and mental disabilities, couldn’t communicate verbally and had been bedridden for most of her life, according to testimony at a hearing that led to charges against Wright.
At the time of her death in 2015, Hannah weighed 43 pounds, according to court records, and had large, open sores across her lower back and buttocks. Her clothing and bedding were soiled. Investigators determined that Hannah, who had a condition called “chromosome translocation,” had last been to a doctor in March 2014, about 18 months before she died.
As part of a plea agreement, Wright pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while mentally ill, and prosecutors agreed to drop charges of open murder and felony child abuse. Prosecutors previously dropped a torture charge.
Wright will face 20 to 40 years in prison if Ingham County Circuit Judge Joyce Draganchuck abides by the details of the plea agreement. She could have faced up to life in prison.
Wright’s attorney had previously announced plans to use an insanity defense at trial. Wright underwent a criminal responsibility evaluation at the state’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry, officials said; a psychiatrist found that she was mentally ill at the time of the crime, but did not meet the standard for legal insanity.
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SOURCE: USA Today; Lansing (Mich.) State Journal, Christopher Haxel