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Sister of Cristian Fernandez's mom: 'Life has punished her enough'

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Updated: 7/19/2013 6:26 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The mother of a boy who is the youngest person to ever be charged with first-degree murder in Jacksonville is waiting to find out if she'll go to prison, too.

Bianella Susanna was supposed to be sentenced Friday. But after hours of testimony, the judge decided there was too much to consider and that he needed more time.

Susanna, 27, faces up to 30 years in prison. Prosecutors say they'll be satisfied with 15 years. The defense says the two years and three months she's already served is punishment enough.

Bianella Susanna bypassed a trial by pleading guilty to manslaughter charges stemming from the death of her 2-year-old son, David.

Prosecutors say she didn't to enough to protect the little boy and didn't get him medical attention until eight hours after her eldest son, Cristian Fernandez, slammed the toddler's head into a bookcase, which killed him. That was March 2011. Cristian was just 12 years old at the time.

Prosecutor Mark Caliel said she lied to investigators and told Cristian to lie, too.

"Even after she knew she child was dead, she continued to lie," he said.

But her defense team and the witnesses it called said the single mother lied out of fear that her four children would be taken away from her.

Doctors testified that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, brought on by a lifetime of abuse.

Dr. Lawanda Ravoira said, "Bianella has lost everything. And that certainly is an extreme punishment."

The only family Susanna has is a woman she calls her sister. Speaking on her behalf, Jessica Callow said the only thing Susanna is guilty of is loving her children. She says Susanna deserves mercy.

"Life has punished her enough," said Callow.

The defense says if Susanna is set free, she'll have a place to live and a job.

A sentencing day will be set August 12.

Cristian Fernandez is now 14 years old. He accepted a plea deal in February that sent to him to a juvenile facility until the age of 19.

Susanna's other two children have been adopted.
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nativejax - 7/19/2013 7:53 PM
0 Votes
Really? Life has punished her enough? NO ACCOUNTABILITY for what Christain has went through or WILL go through? That SHE CAUSED AND COULD HAVE PREVENTED? She should NOT POSSIBLY get a lighter sentence than Christain...not one day.

nativejax - 7/19/2013 7:48 PM
0 Votes
Really? Life has punished her enough? NO ACCOUNTABILITY for what Christain has went through that SHE CAUSED AND COULD HAVE PREVENTED? She should NOT POSSIBLY get a lighter sentence than Christain...not one day.
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