A northern Arizona woman who left her 17-month-old daughter in the desert to die and later buried has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Ashley Attson, 23, of Chinle, was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge David C. Campbell. Attson had previously pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
Attson admitted to placing her child in a stroller, pushing her into the desert on the Navajo Reservation in Apache County, and leaving her there for four days and nights in September 2016.
“Over the next few days, she met friends for ice cream and posted pictures of herself on Facebook,” according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona. “When she returned, the child was dead.”
Two days later, prosecutors say Attson placed the body in a trash bag and buried it in an animal hole.
Prosecutors say Attson’s daughter was born with methamphetamine in her body and had been in the custody of tribal social services for most of her short life.
Attson was granted custody of her daughter just two months before the girl’s death.
While announcing the sentence, Campbell said what Attson did was an “intentional, cold-hearted, horrendous killing of an innocent child.”
Attson will spend 20 years in prison followed by supervised release for five years, documents stated.
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