Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sorensen gets 15 years to life for forcing chili powder into mouth of boyfriend’s 2-year-old daughter



VICTORVILLE — A 24-year-old Apple Valley woman convicted of killing her boyfriend’s 2-year-old daughter by forcing her to ingest chili powder was sentenced Monday to 15 years to life in prison.

Amanda Sorensen appeared in a Victorville courtroom, wrists shackled at the waist and wearing a San Bernardino County jail-issued green jumpsuit, indicating that she was in protective custody.

Sorensen was convicted Nov. 3 of second-degree murder in the death of toddler Joileen Garcia, who suffered a seizure after being force-fed chili powder as a disciplinary measure for lying about defecating in her pants, according to a San Bernardino County Probation Department officer’s report.

Staring blankly ahead with her attorney by her side, Sorensen did not look at three of Joileen’s family members as they tearfully read victim impact statements one by one. A 10-year-old relative of Joileen’s was also among those who submitted statements to the court.

“Just two short years ago, my daughter was tragically taken from me by a woman who sits in this courtroom,” said Joileen’s mother, Brenda Lopez. “Joileen brought joy and smiles to everyone in her presence.”
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Lead Deputy District Attorney Kathy DiDonato prosecuted this case.

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