A Colorado mother who fatally abused her 7-year-old daughter and lied about her health to get handouts from charities was sentenced to 16 years in prison as part of a plea deal that threw out murder charges, the Associated Press reports. Judge Patricia Herron imposed the sentence Wednesday after Kelly Turner pled guilty to child abuse resulting in the 2017 death of the girl, Olivia Gant, and to charitable fraud and theft. Previous charges of first-degree murder, attempt to influence a public servant and forgery were dropped. Authorities said Turner lied to doctors about Olivia’s medical history while broadcasting her struggles to receive money and other favors from organizations like the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The girl had received unnecessary surgeries and medications until her death in Denver hospice care in 2017. That summer, Olivia cheerfully sang Hakuna Matata from “The Lion King” as she was wheeled into hospice care in Denver wearing purple pajamas. “It means no worries for the rest of your days,” she sang while her mother filmed. She died less than a month later. Turner's video was one of many clips highlighting the girl’s battle with disease, which authorities said was used by her mother to dupe doctors and call for favors and donations to ease her daughter’s pain. The cause of death was first listed as intestinal failure, but an autopsy found no evidence of that condition. According to the indictment, doctors went along with Turner’s push to stop feeding her daughter. The amount of the theft from charitities was between $100,000 and $1 million.