FORT WORTH, Texas -- A Tarrant County jury deliberated for more than 11 hours over two days before convicting a 65-year-old Haslet woman Friday of burning her 2-year-old great-granddaughter with a curling iron in July 2008.
Jurors later took less than 10 minutes to sentence Saundra Patterson to five years' probation.
State District Judge Mollee Westfall added five years of probation to the sentence. Patterson was found guilty of one felony charge of injury to a child.
Patterson faced a maximum sentence of life in prison. One of the terms of her probation is that she cannot have contact with children younger than 17.
Patterson had cared for two great-granddaughters, the 2-year-old and a 5-year-old, in her Haslet home from 2007, when authorities terminated their mother’s parental rights, until July 2008. That’s when the mother called Oklahoma City police after she saw burns on her daughter during a July 4 weekend family gathering at the home of the children’s great-great-grandmother.
Medical personnel testified that the first- and second-degree burns were scattered over 10 percent of the girl's body, from her head to her feet. Burn marks were even found in her vaginal area, according to testimony.
A patrol officer who found the toddler testified that it was hard for him to pick up the girl without hurting her.
Patterson testified Thursday that the girl burned herself after getting a curling iron from Patterson's bathroom. She testified that the burns were painful but were nothing a little butter from the refrigerator couldn’t soothe.
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