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.
But during a jail interview a few weeks after the girl's death, Phanhtharath told investigators that Mendez picked up the girl and slammed her to the floor so hard the back of her head bounced, a police detective testified at the couple's preliminary hearing in June.
Mendez then started punching and kicking the girl, the detective said the mother told him.
Phanhtharath told the detective she lied to cover up for Mendez, who she said beat her and the girl regularly.
The detective also testified that the state Department of Human Services was called twice to investigate reports of abuse by Phanhtharath, who has a son with Mendez.
A physician who treated Alexis testified she was covered with bruises and “clinically dead” with a massive skull fracture to the back of her head when she arrived at the emergency room.