A Michigan mother has admitted to starving her 16-year-old disabled daughter, who died weighing just 43 pounds.
Cari Ann Wright of Lansing was the attendant and guardian for Hannah Warner, who was disabled mentally and physically, the Daily Mail reports.
The teenager was unable to communicate through speech and had been bedridden for most of her life, the Detroit Free Press reports.
By the time she died in 2015, she was abnormally thin and had open sores on her buttocks and lower back.
Her bed sheets and clothes were grimy and she had not been treated by a physician for 18 months. She was found dead on Nov. 15, 2015, but had likely passed away the day before, WLNS reports.
Warner had a medical condition known as "chromosome translocation" which is a variation of Down syndrome.
In owning up to the fact that she starved her daughter, Wright enters a plea agreement that sees her going to jail for 20 to 40 years if Ingham County Circuit Judge Joyce Draganchuck approves it.
The Michigan mother pleaded guilty to her charge of second-degree murder while claiming mental illness. The 44-year-old was the subject of a criminal responsibility evaluation at the Michigan Center for Forensic Psychiatry.
A psychiatrist concluded she suffered from a mental illness during the time she starved her daughter but was not legally insane, officials stated.
Due to her condition, Wright will be allowed access to a psychiatrist while in jail.
The plea bargain was "the best outcome we could get for everyone," commented Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon, of a case that "ended as tragically as any I've ever seen."
"The death was preventable, and we have support services in place to take care of children with special needs," she said.
"It’s a very very sad case,” said Wright's attorney, Brian Laxton. “Untreated mental illness in an all-too-common occurrence.”
State Children Protective Services had previously acted on complaints that Warner was not being humanely treated by Wright, court records show. However, the pair were not being supervised by the agency in the time leading up to Warner's death.