Woman Gets 10 Years in Beating Death of Boyfriend's Toddler

Eve Wingfield was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for beating to death her boyfriend's 2-year-old son in a case that sparked statewide criticism of the child welfare system.

Wingfield, 23, of North Hollywood, pleaded no contest to child abuse after a murder charge was dropped last month in the death of Lance Helms, who was living with his father, David Helms.

The sentence did little to satisfy the boy's grandmother, Gail Helms, an outspoken critic of child welfare laws and the district attorney's office.

"There hasn't been closure," said Helms, who did not attend the sentencing at Superior Court. "I've been doing a lot of crying. I've been very distraught."

The case set off criticism of the child welfare system and of the county's dependency court system, which oversees the well-being of thousands of children.

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