SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A judge sentenced a young woman to 25 years to life in prison for beating her 2-year-old daughter to death in a restaurant for not eating her applesauce.
The defendant, Precious Bedell Murray, 26, was convicted of second-degree murder Oct. 31 for severely beating her daughter, Lashonda Bedell, in the restroom of a restaurant Nov. 7, 1979.
The child died four days later in a hospital. Doctors said her skull was fractured in at least eight places.
Onondaga County Judge Ormand Gale said Friday he imposed the stiffest possible sentence because a probation report indicated she was 'a threat to the well-being of this community.'
Trial testimony showed the woman struck Lashonda several times while in the restaurant's dining room because the girl smeared applesauce on her face and refused to eat any more.
Mrs. Murray then took the girl into the restroom and beat her, testimony showed. She told the court the girl was injured when she fell and struck her head on a radiator.
Her lawyer said he would appeal either to overturn the conviction or reduce the sentence. Mrs. Murray's two other children have been placed in their grandmother's custody.