SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A woman already locked up for savagely beating her stepdaughter in 2004 was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison Wednesday after the girl died as a result of her injuries.

Weili Kao was at her Natomas home with her 16-month-old baby and 6-year-old stepdaughter Truly Lo on May 11, 2004, when she became angry at Truly, slapping her and pinching her ears, then sending her into the bathroom for a timeout, according to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.

When she found Truly sitting instead of standing an hour later, Kao took her into a closet and beat with a clothes hanger, lifted her up by her neck and knocked her to the floor twice.

Although Truly was unresponsive, Kao put her to bed and didn’t take her to the hospital until the next day, the DA’s office said. Truly fell into a vegetative state and eventually died Dec. 21, 2010.

Kao, who was already serving a 16-year sentence for the abuse, was then charged with Truly’s death and pleaded no contest to second-degree murder earlier this month.

At sentencing in Sacramento Count Superior Court on Wednesday, Truly’s father, Thomas Lo, spoke about Truly’s “tender heart” and how, even at only 6, she showed immense compassion and interest in caring for others.

He said that although he continued to hope she’d one day wake up, “Truly decided to leave us to reunite with her mom in heaven.”


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