A 59-year-old Boise woman who was found guilty of causing fatal injuries to a 2.5-year-old boy who was left in her care in late 2009 was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday afternoon in Boise's Fourth District Court.
Prosecutors asked for life with 30 years fixed, but Judge Ronald J. Wilper sentenced her to life in prison, saying she must serve 10 years before asking for parole. She was given credit for 93 days served.
Wilper also ordered her to pay $19,000 in restitution.
Stanfield opted not to speak in court Tuesday. Instead, she had public defender Ed Odessey read a written statement.
In the statement, Stanfield offered sympathy but no apology for the death of the boy who was in her care. She also did not admit any guilt in causing injuries to the boy, saying that "I would never cause harm on anyone or anything, as that is not who I am."
On June 4, an Ada County jury found Stanfield guilty of first-degree murder for the death of Wyatt Fesler, the son of her daughter's boyfriend.
Fesler was at Stanfield's home daycare in Boise on Dec. 11, 2009.
Paramedics were called to the home, and the boy was found unresponsive. He died two days later.
A prosecutor told the jury during closing arguments in June that forensic evidence clearly showed that Wyatt died from abusive head trauma the kind that occurs when someone is upset, grabs a toddler from behind and violently shoves the child's head into a hard object.
The prosecutor said that medical tests found that Wyatt had fresh impact injuries to his forehead, mouth and under the chin, along with evidence of hand marks on his shoulders. There was evidence of older bruising on the boy, consistent with previous abuse.
Stanfield and her family, who have maintained her innocence since her arrest in 2010, said Wyatt was prone to holding his breath and to fainting. His fatal injuries likely occurred when he fell and hit his head, they said.
Here is Stanfield's statement, in its entirety:
Dear Judge Wilper,
I would like you to know that losing a child is one of the worst kind of heartache to ever go through. The pain never goes away, remaining in your heart like that of a revolving door that never closes.
I and my husband are very aware of this, as we lost two of our own children a son, then our daughter, three years apart. My heart feels so bad for anyone having to go through this kind of loss for their loved one.
I loved Wyatt so very much and was glad to make him a grandson. He made our 12th grandchild and was loved just as the rest.
The most important things in my life are my faith, family and friends. I've always worked very hard to be a good citizen, doing the best I could do. Whether it was with family and friends, or my child care business, children have always brought me so much joy and happiness, and have always been part of my life.
I've always strived to do the very best for each child in my care, making sure they were happy, safe and loved. I would never cause harm on anyone or anything, as that is not who I am. Life is precious and should never be taken for granted or mistreated, as we never know when we could lose what we had, and how very special it was.
I ask for you to please consider what I have said when you make your decision on my behalf. I truly have always tried, and still try, to be a caring loving person, whom I should be. Nothing is more important to me than my family and friends.