SEATTLE – One of the worst child-abuse cases in recent memory came to a close Friday as Marie Robinson was sentenced to 34 years in prison for allowing her two babies to starve to death while she lay unconscious.

Robinson stood quietly before King County Superior Court Judge Michael Hayden who gave her the exceptional sentence for two counts of first-degree manslaughter.

Police were called to Robinson’s Kent apartment on Nov. 14, 2004, after the father of Robinson’s three children was unable to contact her. Officers found Robinson unconscious with a blood-alcohol rate five times the legal limit for driving and 16-month-old Justice and six-week-old Raiden Robinson dead. An autopsy revealed the children had died from dehydration and starvation.

A third child, 2½, survived by eating from the garbage, and was found emaciated but alive.

, prosecutors said. He’s now living with a family member.

Police found more than 300 beer cans in the apartment, along with 11 unopened cans of infant formula, as well as disposable diapers, clean infant clothes and baby toys.

Robinson was initially found incompetent to stand trial on two second-degree murder charges. She was sent to Western State Hospital, but the hospital determined she did not fit the criteria for civil commitment.

The case was then returned to court and Robinson pleaded guilty in October to the reduced charges of manslaughter and agreed to the exceptional sentence. The standard sentence is 13 to 17 years.

(c) 2007, The Seattle Times.

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Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.


PHOTOS (from MCT Photo Service, 202-383-6099): BABYDEATHS

AP-NY-11-16-07 2220EST

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