A 36-year-old mother of nine was convicted and sentenced to jail time last week for abusing and nearly starving to death her youngest, who at age 4 weighed only 18 pounds. The Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) objected to the sentence, arguing Santa Ana's Antonia Benitez should have received prison time.
Our Mexican-in-Chief got plenty of attention when he suggested last July the case "wakes up the Jim Gilchrist in you."
This is why the OCDA wanted Benitez hauled off to prison:
* Prior to June 2013, Benitez deprived her 4-year-old daughter of food, care and medical attention.
* In July 2012, the girl was hospitalized for being under-weight. The case was not reported to law enforcement at that time.
* On June 4, 2013, Benitez took the girl to the hospital for an infected wound on her leg. She failed to care for her daughter and abused her by failing to adequately feed the victim, who weighed only 18 pounds.
At the time of Benitez's arrest, she was also accused of having dropped her daughter off at St. Joseph's Hospital in Orange and driving off. Needless to say, her other children, who ranged in age from 4 to 16, were taken into protective custody.
Benitez cut a deal that had her pleading guilty to three felony counts of child abuse with sentencing enhancements for great bodily injury to a child under 5. In turn, she was sentenced to two years in jail, three years of formal probation and one year participation in a child abuser program.