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Oklahoma City mother gets 35 years with plea deal in child's death

Victoria Phanhtharath, 23, received a life sentence with all but the first 35 years suspended after pleading guilty in Oklahoma City to enabling murder and permitting child abuse. She agreed to testify against her boyfriend, Freddy Mendez, who is accused of killing 3-year-old Alexis Hawkins.
by Tim Willert Modified: March 25, 2013 at 9:13 pm •  Published: March 25, 2013

The mother of a 3-year-old girl who was beaten to death was sentenced Monday to 35 years in prison for enabling the child's abuse and murder.

Victoria Phanhtharath, 23, avoided a trial after reaching a deal with prosecutors.

She received a life sentence with all but the first 35 years suspended in exchange for her testimony against her boyfriend, Freddy Mendez.

Phanhtharath did not speak in court.

Mendez, 25, is accused of killing Alexis Hawkins, who died of head and blunt force trauma, according to the state medical examiner's office.

Alexis died of her injuries Oct. 30, 2011, at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center.

Phanhtharath initially told police she shoved her daughter out of frustration, causing the girl to strike her head on a wooden baby bed.

The mother said she saw the girl's eyes roll back in her head and she began choking, police reported.

The mother told police that Mendez was screaming at Alexis for not eating her breakfast and beat her with a leather shoe before the incident.

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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