320-pound Florida woman who sat on, killed child sentenced to life in prison

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Florida woman who sat on and smothered a 9-year-old girl was sentenced last week to life in prison.

According to the Pensacola News Journal, a jury on Friday convicted Veronica Green Posey, 66, of first-degree murder in the death of her cousin, Dericka Lindsay.

Authorities said Dericka’s parents, Grace Joan Smith and James Edmund Smith, had sought Posey’s help to punish the child on Oct. 14, 2017. Posey reportedly struck the girl with a ruler and a metal pipe before Dericka ran to an armchair. The 320-pound woman then sat on top of Dericka for at least five minutes before the girl complained that she could not breathe, prosecutors said.

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When Posey stood, she discovered the child unresponsive and called 911, the News Journal reported. The lack of oxygen killed the girl, who also had suffered severe bruising, an autopsy found.

In December, James Smith was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he pleaded no contest to an aggravated manslaughter charge. Authorities said Grace Smith, who also was charged with manslaughter, is not competent enough to stand trial, the News Journal reported.

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