Daytona Beach, FL - Around five months after her husband got 25 years in prison for nearly beating her toddler to death, a New Smyrna Beach woman learns she'll spend more time than that behind bars for what prosecutors call the torture of that same child.
A Volusia County judge handed 26-year-old Amber Hall a 40-year prison sentence this afternoon (September 25th) after she entered a no contest plea last August to four separate counts, including two counts of aggravated child abuse and one count each of principal to child abuse and child neglect causing great bodily harm.
Prosecutors with the office of Florida 7th Circuit State Attorney R.J. Larizza had asked Circuit Judge Dennis Craig to hand down the maximum sentence of 105 years, but Craig opted to sentence Hall instead to 10 years on the child neglect count and 30 years each on all the others. The latter charges will run concurrent to each other, while the child neglect charge will run consecutive to those charges.
According to the arrest reports, Hall used her cell phone to video her child - who was nearly 2 years old at the time - hog-tied on a makeshift bed with tape over her mouth. Officials believe Hall was punishing the child since she was heard on the video scolding the child, per the report.
That video showed "significant and obvious injuries" to the child's body, according to Assistant State Attorney Andrew J. Urbanak, including bruising all over, missing teeth and a mouth infection.
Another video showed Hall punishing the child by making her stand naked in the shower with water streaming onto her face, causing her to choke on the water, according to Larizza.
"The videos are beyond disturbing," Larizza added after the sentencing. "They enter the realm of a child’s most frightening nightmares."
The principal charge was related to the incident involving Hall's husband, while the child neglect charge was for not taking her child to the hospital in a "reasonable manner" after that incident.
Prosecutors say the child suffered hemorrhaging in her brain after that incident, likely caused by "significant shaking" of the child and blunt force trauma to the child's head. She remains on a feeding tube currently and was put in a medically induced coma soon after admission into an Orlando area hospital.