‘Worst child death case in 27 years’: ‘Animal’ mom who beat, killed, & burned little girl in scalding water gets sentenced

*WARNING: Graphic Details*

A Michigan woman who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and abuse of her 4-year-old daughter will spend 30 to 60 years in prison, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans announced Wednesday.

Click On Detroit reports that Candice Diaz, along with her boyfriend, Brad Fields, killed Gabrielle “Gabby” Barrett on New Years Day after brutally abusing the little girl for days. Shortly after Gabby died, the couple fled Michigan. Authorities found them several days later in Georgia and arrested them.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Diaz claimed she allowed Gabby to run her own bath water on December 31, which ended up causing severe burns on the child’s  buttocks, elbows, and legs.

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Diaz never took Gabby in for medical treatment, and the child, according to her mother, took another bath the next day. Diaz claimed when she checked in on Gabby, she was submerged under bath water. Diaz said as soon as she pulled Gabby out, the little girl starting vomiting.

Candice Diaz and Brad Fields
Candice Diaz and Brad Fields [Photo: Police Handout]
Diaz waited 36 minutes after the second incident to contact police. After arrival, authorities rushed Gabby to Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. In addition to severe burns to Gabby’s body, authorities found “evidence of multiple traumatic injuries and signs of Battered Child Syndrome (multiple injuries, multiple sites, multiple stages).”

“Both [suspects] have severe mental illnesses for which they admit they are not treating,” the document continued.

Court documents also indicated that Gabby was burned so badly that her “big toe fell off” and parts of her skin were found in the drain. Additional injuries found on Gabby suggested that this wasn’t the first time she’d been hurt.

“Gabby was supposed to be taken care of her mother and instead she was scalded by her … treated like a dog,” Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Bruce Elsey said in court, according to The Detroit News. “Her skin was peeled off her (and) left in the sink … tub. Her mother suffocated her to death.”

UPDATE (12/05/18 @ 1045am):Defendant Candice Diaz, Gabrielle's mother has just been sentenced to a prison term of…

Posted by Sumpter Township Police Department on Monday, January 8, 2018


Further, the couple searched online for ways to punish Gabby for “wetting herself.” The little girl was made to sleep on a plastic garbage bag on a cold floor during the finals months of her short life. She was also subjected to constant abuse by Diaz and Fields. They hit her in the mouth, pulled her hair from her scalp and forced her to wear nothing but underwear.

Police also reported finding guns and drugs in the home; the home was filled with animal feces and urine.

In October, a jury found Fields guilty of murder, child abuse, torture, and conspiracy to commit first-degree and second-degree child abuse. He was given a sentence of life in prison. Diaz decided to take a plea deal. In exchange, she avoided life in prison while the torture and first-degree felony murder charges were dropped.

“You are a female breeder who neglected your child for the love of a bum named Brad,” Judge Vonda Evans said while sentencing Diaz. “You assisted this monster in the drowning of your beautiful, precious gift….It is fitting that you and Brad are where you both belong: behind bars like the animals that you are.”

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[Feature Photo: Gabby Barrett/Handout]