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Mother of murdered daughter gets 20 years

Christina Dillard has been sentenced to 20 years in prison following her guilty plea in the death of her daughter, Ashley Andrews.

Dillard pleaded guilty to culpable negligent homicide on May 20, and was sentenced on Thursday.

According to a press release from 15th Circuit Court District Attorney Hal Kittrell’s office, her sentence is the maximum she could be given for that charge. Dillard also was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, $2,000 to the public defender fund and $5,954 for court costs.

The case began in October of 2005 with the death of 12 year-old Andrews. Both Dillard and her husband, Shaun Dillard, were arrested and charged with the child’s death. Shaun Dillard was charged with capital murder, statutory rape and two counts of sexual battery when he was brought before Harrell in July of 2008. He pleaded guilty to only aiding and abetting in the capital murder of Andrews and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Shaun Dillard initially was allowed to plea as part of a deal with the District Attorney’s office to testify against Christina Dillard. That plan fell through when five of Chistina Dillard’s seven statements to Sheriff’s Department investigators were deemed inadmissible by Harrell. Kittrell said in a previous interview that those statements were excluded from evidence by the court due to the fact that the statements were made without Christina Dillard’s defense representation present.

That lack of evidence, and therefore lack of corroboration with Shaun Dillard’s testimony, would have made it difficult for the prosecution to seek the death penalty in the case against Christina Dillard, Kittrell said.