Woman sentenced to 15 years in 'nauseating' death of her child

Woman sentenced to 15 years in 'nauseating' death of her child
Christina Carlson (right), shrouded in a red blanket, is comforted by her attorney during an earlier court hearing.

SEATTLE, Wash. -- A 38-year-old woman was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday for severely neglecting her two young children, resulting in the death of the youngest, two years ago, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Christina Carlson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and criminal mistreatment in April after emergency crews found her 19-month-old and 2-year-old daughters unresponsive and covered in urine and feces inside her car in October 2012.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Carlson had been living with her two children inside the car parked outside a residence on the Tulalip Tribal Reservation for a few weeks.

She left the children alone in the car Oct. 8 for a number of hours while she attempted to get drugs. Neighbors finally convinced her to return to her children, and 20 minutes later she asked them to call 911.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, emergency responders found both children covered in urine and feces and unresponsive. The 2-year-old girl would later recover at the hospital, but the 19-month-old girl, who was not breathing when responders arrived, died.

The 19-month-old was malnourished and dehydrated and weighed only 19 pounds at the time of her death. She had lice, and the skin around her diaper was infested with maggots.

“The details of the murder and mistreatment are nauseating,” Judge James Robart said during sentencing. “She knew she needed to care for her children, and she chose not to.”

In addition to 15 years in prison, Carlson was also sentenced to five years of supervised release.