A Michigan man and his wife will spend the rest of their lives in prison after they were convicted of murdering his five-year-old daughter who had pneumonia and weighed just 25 pounds when she died. Andrew and Hilery Maison, of Port Huron, were sentenced to life in prison without parole in St. Clair County Circuit Court on Thursday, the Times Herald of Port Huron reported. They were convicted in January of first-degree murder, child abuse and torture. Hilery Maison called 911 on May 26 last year, and responding emergency crews found her stepdaughter, Mackenzie, unresponsive at their Port Huron home, 60 miles northeast of Detroit. Mackenzie was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Mackenzie's three-year-old sister, Makayla, who weighed just 17 pounds, was also taken to a hospital where she was treated for dehydration and malnutrition. Makayla has recovered and has doubled her weight since last year. Authorities said that both girls were severely malnourished and dehydrated.
During the trial, the court heard a girl aged three would normally weigh around 30 pounds and a girl of five should be about 40 pounds, though this can vary based on height and other factors. 'It's unfathomable how parents could not only allow that to happen, but to purposefully make that happen,' Senior Assistant Prosecutor Mona Armstrong said on Thursday.
Michael Boucher, Hilery Maison's attorney, told jurors during the trial that there was no evidence the couple intended for Mackenzie to die.
Police said the Maisons attributed the weight loss to picky eating.
Judge Daniel Kelly said somebody should have noticed something before the children became so ill.