The ‘monster mom’ whose four-year-old daughter died covered in bruises and open wounds and weighing only 19 pounds was convicted on Wednesday of murder.
Carlotta Brett-Pierce was emotionless when the jury proclaimed her guilty of her daughter Marchella’s death. Her punishment did not even stop her from giving the judge some attitude when asked if she understood the sentence.
‘I heard what you said,’ the 32-year-old mother said.
‘Monster mom’: Carlotta Brett-Pierce testified yesterday she didn’t think her daughter Marchella looked bad when she died at only 19lbs
The month-long trial in a Brooklyn court room finished quickly as the New York Post reports that the jury only required one hour to deliberate.
‘Marchella was a fighter. She fought hard to survive, fought hard to live and she lost her fight to her mother,’ prosecutor Jacqueline Kagan said in her closing argument to the jurors.
‘Now, you fight for her.’
When Marchella Brett-Pierce was found, she was tied to her SpongeBob SquarePants bed, had been beaten, starved and drugged.
Tortured: Marchella Brett Pierce was just 18lb when she was allegedly beaten and drugged to death
Prosecutors say she had dozens of marks and open wounds on her tiny body which was so emaciated, every rib could be seen.
During the trial, Brett-Pierce’s answers painted a ghastly picture of their home life.
Brett-Pierce said of her daughter near the time of her September 2010 death: ‘To me, at the time, it didn’t look bad.’
Brett-Pierce said that her daughter lost weight by running around in the heat and sustained the bruises from falling in the stairway.
The verdict has not come back for Marchella’s grandmother, who was being tried for manslaughter alongside Brett-Pierce.
The unrepentant Brett-Pierce will be sentenced on June 7.
Throughout the trial, her lawyers switched between disproving the prosecutions tales of horrific beatings and arguing that Brett-Pierce was an overwhelmed mother with a sick daughter that she didn’t know how to care for.
Marchella spent the first three-and-a-half years of her life in hospital after she was born prematurely with severe breathing difficulties.
Her mother admitted on the stand that in the seven months she was in her care, she never took the four-year-old to a pediatrician.
A prosecutor showed the mother a doctor’s note indicating that her youngest boy weighed 18 pounds at nine months — roughly the same weight as four-year-old Marchella when she died, according to the New York Daily News.
Grandmother: Loretta Pierce is being tried for manslaughter, accused of not doing anything to help the child and failing to help her death
She told the court she fed her daughter ‘potato chips, fried chicken and cheese doodles’, but an autopsy recorded that only a single corn kernel was found in her body, along with a high level of antihistamines.
Carlotta Brett-Pierce told the court yesterday she didn’t think her daughter ‘looked that bad’ when she died
Marchella should have been on a specialized diet and fed through a tube, which prosecutors say the mother totally ignored, instead feeding her junk food.
During questioning she denied certain things she had already told police and called Marchella ‘my baby’ as opposed to ‘that b***h’ – which she was heard calling her in a recorded jail conversation played for the jury saying: ‘That b***h wasn’t that f***ing light.’
When she was released from hospital seven months before her death, she weighed 26lbs- a stark contrast from her final weight of 18.9 pounds.
The Administration for Children’s Services became involved with the family after Brett Pierce gave birth to a boy who tested positive for drugs.
Two social workers from ACS who had involvement in Marchella’s case were charged separately with criminally negligent homicide for failing to prevent the tragic death.
Damon Adams and Chereece Bell were both charged with criminally negligent homicide, official misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child. Their case will begin after this trial finishes.
After Marchella’s death, the child welfare agency said it would change how it dealt with families with complex medical issues.
The City Council also guaranteed $13.6million for services aimed at preventing abuse and neglect. Case workers have admitted they are still overwhelmed by cases, the Associated Press reported.