Authorities say a mother has been convicted of murder after intentionally leaving her three-year-old daughter in an SUV for nine and a half hours during “extreme summer temperatures.” Allegedly, the woman said she did so to remove “lustful demons” from the girl.
According to court documents, Angela Phakhin was convicted on Wednesday of the first-degree murder of her three-year-old daughter, Maiya, after a jury found her guilty under “a theory of premeditated and deliberate murder and felony murder torture.”
Police say they had arrested Phakhin and her fiancé, Untwan Smith, for leaving Maiya inside a hot SUV multiple times throughout a two-week period in 2017.
According to the District Attorney’s office, “Phakhin had been warned repeatedly to protect Maiya and was advised to take her to a cooling shelter, but she did not accept the offers.”
In June 2017, Rancho Cordova Police alleged that Phakhin forced Maiya to endure four and a half hours inside the blisteringly hot SUV.
The next day, officers said they found Maiya dead under a pile of blankets inside the vehicle. The child had allegedly being confined there for almost 10 hours during “extreme summer temperatures.”
Prosecutors claim that Phakhin said she and Smith kept putting Maiya in the hot SUV to remove “lustful demons” from the toddler. Smith is presently awaiting trial on the same charges.
Now that Phakhin is convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Her sentencing is scheduled for July 19.