Mother, Ex-Boyfriend Sentenced to 17 Years for Beating Child
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - On Friday, an Augusta County judge sentenced a mother and her then-boyfriend to 17 years behind bars for beating her 6-year-old son.
Both 35-year-old Cecilia Leigh Burnette and 33-year-old Theodore Francis Manna Jr. were emotionless as they were punished for malicious wounding. Authorities said the boy told them the pair had beaten him.
NBC29 was informed that the boy had been abused for days before he was rushed to a hospital in June 2018.
The judge said the boy's injuries were the result of “sadistic treatment.” He also stated that the "intentional brutality" factored into his sentencing decision, which was higher than the recommended guideline.
"For a judge to sentence to over double the high end of the guidelines for each of these people is a courageous thing for him to have done, and it indicates he clearly understands the egregiousness of the behavior,” said Tim Martin, Augusta Commonwealth's Attorney.
Another factor in the judge's decision was Burnette had already served six years behind bars stemming from the death of a daughter, stating "she already has blood of one child on her hands."
"I have never seen a case where you have someone 33-years-old, no criminal history, who is treated the same as a woman already responsible for killing one child,” stated Defense Attorney Mike Hallahan.
Manna's attorney took issue with him receiving the same 17-year-sentence due, in part, to his lack of criminal history.