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Atascadero woman gets 20 years in prison for role in toddler's death

Natalia Brito, June 2007. Photo courtesy of Tony Rector, Natalia Brito's maternal grandfather.
Natalia Brito, June 2007. Photo courtesy of Tony Rector, Natalia Brito's maternal grandfather.

An Atascadero woman sentenced to more than 20 years in prison today for her role in the death of her daughter wept and apologized, and a judge called her punishment “appropriate,” though he said her story was “heartbreaking all the way around.”

Arianne Brito, 25, could be about 40 years old when she’s released from prison – based on time in jail already served and credit for good behavior.

Wearing a red jumpsuit, hair braided, Brito, talking through tears in court, said that she was “sorry for the pain” she caused.

“I wish I could do something now, but I can’t,” Brito said. “My daughter is gone. I miss her. I don’t have her anymore.”

Judge Charles Crandall called Brito “an accomplice” in the beating death of her 20-month old, Natalia Brito, who was struck in the chest by her husband, Fermin Palacios, on the day she died.

Brito pleaded no contest — which results in a conviction without an admission of guilt — on Dec. 18 to eight counts of child endangerment with an enhanced penalty for an injury resulting in death, and voluntary manslaughter.

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