A Tucson woman convicted of intentionally sickening her infant daughter with fecal matter was sentenced to 13 years in prison on Friday.
Blanca Reneis Montano, who was found guilty of child abuse under circumstances likely to cause death or serious injury in May, was sentenced by Pima County Superior Court Judge Scott Rash.
Montano was charged after her infant became sick numerous times with unexplained bacterial infections beginning in February 2011.
The child was admitted for a five-day stay at University of Arizona Medical Center. It was later determined she had an E. coli infection.
With the hospital staff already suspicious of the repeated illnesses, a camera was installed to monitor Montano. She attempted to obscure the camera after realizing it had been installed.
Video was given to police and later discussed at trial, where prosecutors said Montano had tampered with intravenous tubes and placed them in the infant's mouth.
Deputy Pima County Attorney Ryan Schmidt said Montano was especially cruel in making her child sick because she lied about it to doctors, which caused the child to undergo many unneeded medical procedures, including an exploratory surgery.
"It's not only repeated conduct, but it's repeated conduct without remorse," Schmidt said at sentencing.
Her attorney, Paul Skitzki, said Montano continues to insist she didn't hurt her child.
He said she has "borderline intellectual functioning," which should be considered when imposing the sentence.
"We have to look at it through her abilities," Skitzki said. "You have to ask yourself: Does this young lady really understand the consequences?"
Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or firstname.lastname@example.org