LAS CRUCES, NM – Annette Smith was sentenced to 21 years in prison yesterday after reaching a plea deal with prosecutor. Smith can be eligible for parol after serving 11 years.
Kacee Thatcher, a retired detective who worked on the case, says she was in disbelief after she heard the decision. She told ABC-7 she believes Smith should’ve gotten a longer sentence. According to Thatcher’s police report, Smith once flipped over the mattress sending the baby flying into the bars of the crib. Thatcher said the two older children were also regularly abused by their mother.
Court records show Smith was charged with child abuse of her two older children in 2007. Those charges were later dropped, under a previous administration.
Thatcher said after the first indictment, Smith went right back to abusing the kids. She said the abuse then escalated to the baby.
“She would be ravenous when they would feed her when they would get home and the baby was not growing,” Thatcher said. “I found out through my investigation that she would lie about how much she was feeding the baby when she was taking the baby to the doctor.”
The district attorneys office would not comment on camera, but in a prepared statement they stated the sentence “is a strong one that serves the interest of justice.”