Colorado mom who abused 7-year-old daughter to death sentenced to prison

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A Colorado mom who pleaded guilty last month to abusing her 7-year-old daughter to death and lying about her health to rake in charity donations will spend 16 years behind bars, a judge ruled Wednesday. 

Judge Patricia Herron issued the sentence after Kelly Turner pled guilty to child abuse resulting in the 2017 death of the girl, Olivia Gant, and to charitable fraud and theft. 

Kelly Renee Turner, 43, is charged with murdering her daughter Olivia Gant, 7. 
(Douglas County Sheriff’s Office/Heflebower Funeral Home, Littleton, Colo.)

Previous charges of first-degree murder, attempt to influence a public servant, and forgery were dropped as part of an agreement with prosecutors.

Authorities have said Turner repeatedly lied to doctors about Olivia’s medical history. Turner’s lies convinced medical professionals to perform surgeries and fill prescriptions for illnesses that she didn’t have – gaining sympathy from television news stories and charitable foundations. 

Prosecutors said the amount of the theft from charity was between $100,000 and $1 million. 

Kelly Turner claimed her daughter Olivia Gant suffered from a rare disease. 
(Denver Police Department)

The girl had received unnecessary surgeries and medications up until her death in Denver hospice care in 2017. The girl’s cause of death was first listed as an intestinal failure, but an autopsy later found no evidence of that condition. 

Authorities have not said what killed her but, according to an indictment, doctors went along with Turner’s push to stop feeding her daughter.

Media coverage showed 7-year-old Olivia Gant fulfilling a bucket list that included being a cop for a day.
(Denver Police Department)

While Turner’s behavior raised suspicions along the way, it was only after Olivia died in hospice care in 2017 and Turner brought one of her other two daughters to the same hospital with bone pain that doctors decided to take a closer look. 

The girl, 13, has not reported any additional medical problems or complaints of pain since October 2018 and is in her grandparents’ custody. Turner’s eldest child is an adult.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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