Kelly Renee Turner was sentenced to 16 years of prison for child abuse leading to the death of her daughter.
Turner made her 7-year-old get unnecessary medical treatments and eventually signed a do-not-resuscitate order.
She also raised between $100,000 and $1 million in fraudulent charity money and gifts.
A Colorado woman who pleaded guilty last month to charges of child abuse causing the death of her 7-year-old daughter was sentenced to 16 years of prison on Wednesday.
Kelly Renee Turner, 43, put her daughter Olivia through years of unnecessary medical treatment that eventually led to her death in 2017, the New York Times reported.
In a 2019 indictment, prosecutors said Turner first requested treatments for constipation and developmental delays when Olivia was 2 years old. She continued approving “surgery after surgery” and eventually put her daughter in hospice care, where she insisted on a do-not-resuscitate order.
Turner’s stepfather believes that she had a mental disorder called Munchausen syndrome by proxy, meaning she induced illness in her otherwise healthy child to get attention, the family’s lawyers said in a statement reported by the Times.
“This is a despicable crime,” John Kellner, the district attorney, said in the statement. “This defendant deserves to serve years behind bars.”
Prosecutors said Turner tried to do the same with another daughter
Turner was arrested in 2018 after seeking unnecessary treatments for another daughter, prompting concern from doctors and welfare workers. Prosecutors said doctors connected the dots once they heard about Olivia’s death from a “mysterious, untreatable illness.”
The other daughter’s condition improved after she was removed from Turner’s care, prosecutors said.
The illness scam didn’t stop at unnecessary treatments, NBC reported. Turner raised between $100,000 and $1 million in charity money and gifts, not to mention more than $500,000 from Medicaid to cover her daughter’s care, prosecutors said.
Turner also made sure the news cameras were rolling for many of Olivia’s charity experiences, such as a “bat princess” party hosted by Make-A-Wish at a hotel that cost $11,000, NBC reported.
Along with negligible child abuse, Turner pleaded guilty to charges of theft and charitable fraud. She was initially charged with first-degree murder as well, but the prosecution dropped the murder charges after Turner’s plea.
Olivia’s cause of death, originally listed as intestinal failure, is still not clear. Doctors who testified said Turner’s call to stop feeding her daughter likely contributed to her death.
The Turner case echoes the story of Dee Dee Blanchard, who had her daughter Gypsy Rose medicated and using a wheelchair and a feeding tube for much of her life to make her appear ill. It turned out Gypsy was not actually sick, but many of the details of the case died with Dee Dee when Gypsy had her murdered in 2015.
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