A mother who was sentenced to life in prison for enabling the child abuse that led to the murder of her 3-year-old daughter has been set free after serving only two years.
KOCO reported Victoria Phanhtharath’s sentencing to life in prison, with 35 years required to be served, in March of 2013. Phanhtharath pled guilty in court to enabling child abuse-murder and two counts of enabling child abuse.
Oklahoma City Judge Kenneth Watson has now modified Phanhtharath’s sentence and allowed her to go free for time served.
Judge Watson says he stands by his modification based on the testimony he heard.
It was Freddy Mendez, Phanhtharath’s boyfriend at the time of the murder of her daughter in 2011, who was accused of killing little Alexis.
Alexis had bruises all over her body when she was admitted to the hospital, and a massive skull fracture and severe brain swelling. She died the next day from her injuries.
Phanhtharath testified against Mendez, who was convicted and sentenced to life without parole for the murder of Alexis. Prosecutors favored modifying Phanhtharath’s sentence because of her cooperation in the Mendez case, but they were not in favor of her immediate release, reports News9.
District Attorney David Prater does not view this case as having justice served and released the following statement:
"The District Attorney's office strongly opposed the modification of sentence resulting in the immediate release of Victoria Phantharath from prison. Prosecutors strongly argued that despite the fact Phantharath did not personally inflict injuries on her daughter, she wholly failed to protect her daughter from the homicidal actions of her boyfriend."
"She was legally and morally responsible for the protection of her daughter, and she stood by and allowed the child to be savagely beaten to death by Freddie Mendez."
"The office does recognize that despite having no agreement with the State of Oklahoma for any type of sentence reduction, Phantharath cooperated by providing credible testimony and other evidence which was key in the prosecution and conviction of Mr. Mendez."
"Nevertheless, regardless of her cooperation in that prosecution, justice was not served by her sentence modification to an immediate release from incarceration."
Phanhtharath’s release does come with conditions, including counseling and living in transitional housing. She will also be under supervision by the Department of Corrections for a minimum of 10 years.