Woman will spend 33 years in prison for goddaughter's murder

Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 7:35pm

EL PASO — An El Paso woman who murdered her two-year-old goddaughter learned her fate Thursday.

A jury sentenced Shawntrell Dawkins to 33 years in prison for murdering young Milayna Harris. Sheree Harris, Milayna's mother was ushered out of the courtroom after hearing the sentence.

Shawntrell Dawkins was facing 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10 thousand dollars. The jury did not impose a fine. Both the defense and the state said they're satisfied with the jury's sentence.

"We're very pleased. The jury sometimes really has a difficult time making these type of decisions, particularly when its sending someone to prison for an extended period of time. What's really important is that Milayna, the little girl, her mother is pleased," said Assistant District Attorney Penny Hamilton.

Shawntrell Dawkins' Defense Attorney, Stuart Leeds said they will not appeal.

"This is a huge victory for the defense. She got 33 years. The first victory is when the jury came back and found her not guilty of capital murder because the sentence would have been automatic life without parole," said Leeds.

Shawntrell Dawkins will receive credit for the time she has spent in jail, which is five years.
 

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