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Mother Kelsy Newell-Skinner sentenced to 35 years for infant's beating death

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Posted at 1:48 PM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-13 15:48:12-04

A mother who pleaded guilty to killing her 2-month-old daughter has been sentenced to 35 years in prison.

The infant, Natalee Hurst-Skinner, was taken to Children's Hospital in July 2014. Doctors found the infant had multiple skull fractures, broken ribs, severe bruising, bite marks on her thigh and brain damage, prosecutors said.

Natalee died four days later.

Her mother, Kelsy Newell-Skinner, 23, was arrested. She pleaded guilty earlier this year to second-degree murder. In addition to the 35 prison sentence, the judge ordered Newell-Skinner to pay $57,978.41 in restitution.

Denver7 Investigates

Denver7 Investigates uncovered that after the baby was born in May 2014 and both mother and child tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, hospital workers reported the drug use to Denver Human Services.

A DHS supervisor assigned caseworker Rotchana Madera to meet with the family and assess the baby's safety.

But Denver7 Investigates reported that contrary to what Madera stated in DHS records, she never met with the baby's family. Madera pleaded guilty to official misconduct and forgery and was sentenced to a two-year supervised deferred judgment on the forgery charge and two years of probation.

The months-long Denver7 investigation revealed systemic flaws in DHS' process for supervising caseworkers and verifying their work.

Citing the 7NEWS reports, the Colorado Department of Human Service launched a broad review of Denver's case work, including every case to which Madera was assigned.

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