A Quartz Hill mother convicted last month of the first-degree murder of her 18-month-old daughter was sentenced today, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Antelope Valley Superior Court Judge Hayden Zacky sentenced Stacey Marie Barker, 26, to a term of 25 years to life in state prison.
Barker was convicted on May 25 of one count each of first-degree murder, assault on a child under eight causing death and child abuse. Jurors, who deliberated for one day, also found true an allegation of great bodily injury.
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Deputy District Attorney S. Kelly Cromer of the Antelope Valley Branch Office prosecuted the case.
On March 18, 2009, Barker told authorities that she had been knocked unconscious and possibly raped at a Lancaster city park by a so-called assailant who proceeded to abduct her daughter, Emma.
In response, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies launched a 12-hour manhunt for the child. The defendant later confessed that the child was dead and led detectives to her body in a Sylmar lot overrun with weeds, the prosecutor said.
Though Barker alleged that the child’s death was accidental, evidence presented at trial revealed injuries consistent with suffocation caused by a hand being placed over the girl’s nose and mouth.
Forensic reports further showed that the child had been dead for several hours before the defendant disposed of her body.
Barker ultimately admitted to authorities that she fabricated the first story and that her injuries – including contusions to her head and ribs, scrapes to her hand and injuries to her genital area – were self-inflicted.