A mother charged eight years ago with fatal child neglect has been ordered imprisoned for felony child neglect that led to the death of her baby daughter last winter.
Christine Mae Ward, 29, of Burley, was ordered to serve at least a year in prison and up to two more years at the discretion of the Commission on Pardons and Parole.But 5th District Judge George Granata retained jurisdiction over the case for six months, after which he could review the sentence.
Granata, rejecting defense pleas for a suspended prison sentence, said he wanted the disposition of the case to emphasize that parents must get medical care for their children when it is a matter of life or death, regardless of the cost.
Ward was charged with felony injury to a child in February after her 17-month-old daughter, Jessica, died of pneumonia. Officials said necessary medical treatment was withheld from the baby.
Court records showed that Ward was convicted in 1980 in Lubbock, Texas, on a misdemeanor child neglect charge that also involved the death of a child.
The woman's two other children were in the custody of her husband.