Sacaton woman gets prison for son's death

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Associated Press

Posted on March 4, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 4 at 8:00 AM

PHOENIX (AP) — A Sacaton woman has been sentenced to two years in prison for trying to thwart a police investigation into the 2007 death of her young son.

Federal prosecutors say 25-year-old Alicia Manuel and her girlfriend, Mercedes Howard, were the caretakers of Manuel's 3-year-old boy.

Authorities say Howard got mad at the child after he spit up on her on Sept. 27, 2007. The say Manuel watched as Howard battered the child, who was later pushed into the shower and hit his head on the bath tub. Authorities say the boy died a short time later.

Manuel allegedly helped Howard dress the child so police would not see the body bruises, lied to law enforcement officials about what she had seen and lied about Howard's involvement. Manuel pleaded guilty in the case on Nov. 3.

Howard pleaded guilty in August 2008 to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 17½ years in prison.

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