DENVER – Kelsy Newell-Skinner, 23, won’t see her four small children until they’re adults, because she killed her fifth child, Natalee Skinner-Hurst in July of 2014.
A Denver judge sentenced Newell-Skinner Friday afternoon to 35 years in prison. Newell-Skinner took a plea deal in February and instead of facing a life in prison, could’ve been sentenced to 48 years maximum.
Prosecutor said 2-month-old Natalee was shaken and thrown against the wall. Newell-Skinner admitted to drinking the night Natalee died. She didn’t remember injuring the child.
Prosecutors said Natalee had pre-existing injuries, signs of previous abuse.
Newell-Skinner read a statement in court, saying she was “proud to be Natalee’s mommy,” and she was afraid to lose her other children forever.
Natalee’s paternal grandfather Albie Hurst puts the blame for Natalee’s death on others.
“If the case worker who’d been assigned had even opened the book on Kelsy’s history much less going to a house with five children, 500 square foot apartment, I think that all the kids would’ve probably been removed from Kelsy’s custody at least on a temporary basis,” Hurst said.
About three weeks before baby Natalee's injuries – a Denver case worker recommended the family's case be closed. That case worker admitted to falsifying records and got probation.
Hurst said he and his wife watched Natalee a few weeks before her death and she was healthy.
Newell-Skinner’s defense attorney had an expert testify that Newell-Skinner had a severely traumatic childhood, where she suffered physical and sexual abuse.
She was forcibly medicated by her parents, her father was abusive, and her mother left and developed a substance abuse problem. Newell-Skinner bounced around between several foster homes, according to court testimony.
The defense expert testified Newell-Skinner suffered from PTSD and depression, those influenced her actions.
Prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Newell-Skinner to enough time that she isn’t able to harm her existing children and she’s “too old to have children.”
9NEWS asked Hurst if he believed Newell-Skinner killed her daughter.
“No,” he said. “I believe if she did, if she did, I’m not saying a 100 percent, I wish I could say 100 percent, but no I think there was something toxic in her system and I don’t think it was just alcohol, when you black out and don’t remember, there’s usually something else that’s a little stronger in terms of a sedative. I wish police in their investigation, instead of going immediately for a conviction would’ve taken the time to do that research.”