MANASSAS, Va. — A North Carolina woman was sentenced to 25 years in prison Thursday for fatally beating a 2-year-old girl she had adopted from a Siberian orphanage.
Peggy Sue Hilt, 34, of Wake Forest, N.C., repeatedly punched and stepped on her daughter, Nina, in July. Nina died from her injuries the next day.
Hilt told investigators that she had become frustrated about her failure to bond with the child.
Calling Hilt's actions "inexplicable," Prince William Circuit Court Judge William Hamblen imposed a 25-year sentence, above the sentencing guideline range of 12 to 21 years.
Prosecutor Paul Ebert said the stiff sentence was warranted given the horrific injuries that Nina suffered. Ebert also pointed out that Nina's death caused a backlash in Russia against foreign adoptions, hurting families' efforts to adopt children.
Hilt's lawyer said his client was an alcoholic who suffered from mental health problems that went untreated.
Shit. So much for better off. That just goes to show that you just never know. The first question that comes to mind is, "Who the hell screened this woman?" And what's the deal with the 25 year sentence even if it's above the 12 to 21 year guideline. What? You only get 12 to 21 years for ruthlessly beating a child to death?!
I'm seriously itching to bring up racial discrepancies when it comes to screening and how social services looks at parents "of color" as opposed to white parents. I don't think it's appropriate here, though and will save it for another day. I know Jae Ran touched on this subject in her Myth of Motherhood post which was one of those "hmmm…I never considered it" things for me. Since then, I've been thinking more about this. Anyway, will save that one for another day.