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Woman Gets 18 Years for Daughter's Death

Posted at 10:54 PM, Jun 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-26 23:33:13-04

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The mother of a mentally disabled teen who died after being found malnourished and covered with lice in her Jacksonville home has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

As part of a deal with Duval County prosecutors, 32-year-old Jessica Rivera pleaded guilty this week to two counts of child neglect. She had initially been charged with manslaughter.

Authorities say 13-year-old Romana Bones was found unresponsive in her Woodland Acres home in June 2011. She was removed from the home but died a week later. The Florida Times-Union ( ) reports that Romana's three younger siblings were taken into state custody.

An autopsy said Romana suffered from organ failure as a result of a massive infection. Coroners also found hemorrhaging of her heart caused by pancreatitis and pneumonia.