Billy Bob Thornton’s daughter gets 20 years in godchild’s death
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Billy Bob Thornton’s estranged daughter Amanda Brumfield was sentenced in Florida on Thursday to 20 years in prison in the death of her 1-year-old goddaughter, Olivia Madison Garcia.
‘I miss Olivia just as much as anybody does,’ was the only thing Brumfield told the judge before being sentenced, the Orlando Sentinel reported. She’d had a friend read a letter she’d written to the court.
Heather Murphy, the child’s mother and at one time Brumfield’s best friend, delivered what the Sentinel called an emotionally wrenching statement about her child, telling the court how older daughter Isabella still asked when ‘Liv’ was coming home and on her birthday wanted to tie an ice cream cone to a balloon so her sister could have it in heaven.
Olivia died of a skull fracture and brain bleed in October 2008 while staying overnight at Brumfield’s Ocoee, Fla., home.
Brumfield, 32 and the mother of two kids and a stepchild, is the oldest of Thornton’s four children, born in 1978 to the actor and his first wife. The ‘Sling Blade’ Oscar winner, famously married for a while to Angelina Jolie, has had kids with three women, and been married and divorced five times.
Melissa Parish, Thornton’s first ex-wife, defended her daughter in 2009. She likened the child’s death to that of Natasha Richardson, saying there was no way her daughter could know the child was injured and shouldn’t be held responsible for the death. At the time, Thornton’s publicist said the actor had not spoken to his daughter in ‘a substantial number of years.’
Though found not guilty of first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse, Brumfield was convicted of aggravated manslaughter in May. Coincidentally, her guilty verdict came during the Casey Anthony trial, in the same courthouse where Anthony in July was found not guilty in the death of daughter Caylee.
Brumfield maintained that Olivia fell while trying to get out of her playpen and hit her head; prosecutors argued that an accidental fall from that height couldn’t have done the damage. Murphy said the sentence was more than she’d expected. The defense had hoped for a lighter sentence. Brumfield got credit for 165 days’ worth of time served, and must pay $10,000 in court costs.
-- Christie D’Zurilla
Reuters contributed to this report.
Brumfield Sentenced In Toddler’s Death
Amanda Brumfield Faces 20 Years In Jail
POSTED: 11:27 am EDT October 6, 2011
UPDATED: 12:31 pm EDT October 6, 2011
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The estranged daughter of actor Billy Bob Thornton was sentenced Thursday in the death of a friend’s toddler.Amanda Brumfield was babysitting the child, who would have turned 4 years old in September, when she hit her head and died at her home in Ocoee. Click Like For Central Florida News Updates:
Family and friends of both Brumfield and the victim sobbed after learning the defendant would spend 20 years in jail for the death of her 1-year-old goddaughter.The mother of Olivia Madison Garcia fought back tears as she talked about her daughter.’When I saw you with a white sheet over your head, it broke my heart,’ Heather Murphy said. ‘I just wanted you to wake up and be that miracle and tell all the doctors they were wrong.’Brumfield, who was Murphy’s best friend at the time, was acquitted of murder and child abuse in the girl’s death, but she was convicted of manslaughter and faced 13 years to 30 years behind bars.The judge also heard from Brumfield’s friend, who said Brumfield wasn’t a violent person and mouthed, ‘I love you,’ to the defendant as she sat crying next to her attorneys.Brumfield’s pastor asked for leniency.’Give me a chance to work with her, to try to help her, help her kids,’ the Rev. Jeff Pritchard said. ‘She’s a redeemable soul.’Brumfield also made a final statement in court.’I miss Olivia just as much as anybody does,’ Brumfield said.The judge called the case sad and said his sentence wouldn’t help the pain.’I sentence you to 20 years in the Department of Corrections,’ Judge Reginald Whitehead said.Brumfield’s family and friends were too upset to comment on the verdict. The victim’s mother said the sentence gave her closure.’I hope one day somebody in that family will come forward and tell me what really happened, that she didn’t fall from a playpen, but somebody will tell me what really happened in the last hours of my daughter’s life,’ Murphy said. Most Popular Stories On WESH.com
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