The South Carolina woman who confessed to killing her 17-month-old daughter by feeding her salt was sentenced to decades in prison Wednesday, 1063word.radio.com reported.
Kimberly Nicole Martines was charged with homicide by child abuse and child abuse causing great injury, according to records from the Spartanburg County Detention Center.
The 25-year-old Fingerville woman pleaded guilty to the first charge and was sentenced to 30 years behind bars, the 7th Circuit Solicitor’s Office said, according to WSPA. The solicitor’s office said Martines must serve 85 percent of her sentence (25-plus years) before she is eligible for release.
In 2016, Peyton Martines was taken to a Spartanburg County hospital and “placed on life support after suffering from acute salt poisoning,” foxcarolina.com reported.
Medical responders who initially treated Peyton on July 31 said she “was severely dehydrated and appeared to be having a seizure,” while officials at the hospital said the toddler had a 103.2-degree body temperature and “an inflated amount of sodium in her blood,” according to 1063word.radio.com.
Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger said the 17-month-old was pronounced brain dead Aug. 2 and died the following day, according to WYFF-4. Her autopsy showed “clinical brain death secondary to a high concentration of sodium,” WSPA reported.
According to the solicitor’s office, Martines said “Peyton and her twin sister got into a bag of salt.” But when investigators spoke to Martines’ then-4-year-old son, he told them he witnessed his mother feed Peyton “a full spoon of salt,” according to foxcarolina.com.
Investigators then found a bag of salt under a sofa cushion, according to the solicitor’s office, which said Martines then “admitted to feeding the baby a tablespoon of salt in an attempt to get her estranged husband to come home,” WSPA reported.
Solicitor Barry Barnette said Martines fatally poisoned the baby to “get her husband back into her life,” according to WYFF-4.
The solicitor’s office reported that Martines chose Peyton because that was “the child who was closest in proximity to her at the time,” 1063word.radio.com reported.
“The overdose of salt caused Peyton’s brain to shut down,” Assistant Solicitor Jennifer Jordan said in a news release, reported by WSPA. “It was a senseless tragedy that was caused by someone who made a horrible choice.”