A Haltom City woman who pleaded guilty to murder in the scalding death of her 2-year-old grandson was sentenced to 57 ½ years in prison on Thursday.
Patricia Flores was caring for her grandson, Lyfe “Gabe” Flores, when he was severely burned by hot water in March of last year. Flores pleaded guilty on Monday and could’ve gotten as little as five years or a max of life in prison.
Police said the 44-year-old waited six days before getting him medical help. By that point it was too late. Gabe died a few days later in the hospital because of the burns. Child Protective Services had placed Gabe in his grandmother’s care just a few weeks before his tragic death because his parents were having domestic issues.
Lyfe’s maternal grandmother Kim Hamilton described Flores as selfish and cruel during victim impact statements after the verdict.
“Why didn't you get I'm medical attention, because you chose self-preservation over his life,” Hamilton said. "Our family is forever broken it should not hurt to be a child and you can't even look at me."
Lyfe has an 18-month-old sister, and the family said they show her pictures of her deceased brother so she will never forget.
“It breaks my heart because he should be here for her to hug and kiss not a picture,” said Stephanie Moshier, maternal grandmother.
Prosecutors asked for a life sentence, but the family said they are satisfied with the 57 ½ years that Flores got. The family says they will continue to work on child abuse awareness.
"We are very involved with the Johnson county Advocacy Center part of his legacy, a lot of stuff done in his memory, to continue to stand up for these poor babies,” said Jessica Rhodes, Lyfe's aunt.
The extra half year on the sentence was a way for the jury to arrive at a unanimous verdict. Flores will have to serve at least half that before she's eligible for parole.