A Mountain View woman who abused her 9-year-old daughter over a 17-month period, culminating with a fatal punch and kick to the child's stomach, pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder.
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Crystal Cardenas, 27, will be sentenced to 15 years to life in prison on Sept. 18.
At an earlier hearing, Deputy District Attorney Lindsey Krause said Elizabeth Holloway was choked, punched, kicked, burned and thrown to the ground during the time she lived with her mother.
Cardenas and the victim, along with her 7-year-old sister, year-old brother and Cardenas' boyfriend, Lorenzo Castillo, had moved into an apartment on Milbrae Street in mid-January, 2011, police said.
A few days before the girl died on Jan. 17, 2011, Cardenas punched her daughter in the abdomen, which severed her intestine and bruised her pancreas, Krause said. The girl vomited and lost feeling in her lower legs and told her younger half-sister she felt like she was going to die, the prosecutor said.
San Diego police said officers and medics found Elizabeth unconscious in her residence following an emergency call, and she died at a hospital about 90 minutes later.
Castillo, 29, pleaded guilty last year to felony child abuse and was sentenced to nine years behind bars.
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