Jury convicts mom in felony child abuse case
An Anchorage jury has convicted a woman who was charged with starving and abusing her adopted daughters.
On Tuesday, Echo Terry was found guilty of 12 of 15 felony counts, including three counts of second-degree assault. One day later, the jury found aggravating factors apply to this case, meaning the maximum sentence she faces increases from six years to three decades.
During the trial, the court heard testimony about how Terry had occasionally struck three of the four girls she first fostered and then adopted in 2014. But also how she withheld food.
Assistant District Attorney Reid Schweitzer said the three older girls, who were four, nine and 10 when they were taken from Terry's home showed signs of a serious medical condition.
"They had evidence of severe malnutrition and a condition that's called re-feeding syndrome," said Schweitzer. "Essentially, their bodies were so malnourished to the point that, had they been given a large influx of food, they could have actually died from that large influx of food."
Schweitzer said the jury's conviction of second-degree assault and not the more serious charge of first-degree assault meant they considered Terry's behavior reckless but without the intent to harm her children.
Daniella Rivera, Lauren Maxwell and Jennifer Summers contributed to this story.
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