CARLYLE -- A Clinton County judge handed a 16-year prison sentence Tuesday to a Carlyle woman for trying to cover up the fatal beating her boyfriend inflicted on her son.
Circuit Judge Dennis Middendorff gave the sentence to Valerie Schoolfield, 29, who pleaded guilty in November to trying to cover up the beating that caused the death of her 3-year-old son, Joseph Schoolfield.
The judge said Schoolfield "chose to protect her boyfriend, at the expense of her son." Schoolfield had no visible reaction to the sentence, but she was teary when her mother gave her a hug at the end of the hearing.
Schoolfield, when given an opportunity earlier at her sentencing Tuesday to make a statement, told the court she's sorry.
"I love my son and I will forever. I'm sorry that I failed as a mother. I apologize to my family for failing, and to Joseph for failing," Schoolfield told the judge. "I have to wake up the rest of my life knowing that I failed as a mother, in protecting my son."
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