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Colorado mom who abused 7-year-old to death sentenced to 16 years in prison

Kelly Turner pled guilty in January to negligent child abuse.
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Posted at 11:35 AM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 18:43:22-05

DENVER, Colo. — A Colorado mother whose 7-year-old daughter died after authorities said she duped doctors about her daughter’s health, leading to unnecessary surgeries and medications, was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Wednesday.

Kelly Turner pleaded guilty in January to negligent child abuse, charitable fraud and theft between $100,000 and $1 million.

She was initially charged in October 2019 with two counts of first-degree murder, among several other charges, in the August 2017 death of her 7-year-old daughter, Olivia Gant.

During her sentencing hearing Wednesday, Turner was given 16 years on the child abuse count, 10 years for the charitable fraud charge and three years on the theft charge. Her sentences will run concurrently, meaning she will serve all three sentences at the same time.

Turner was also ordered to serve a mandatory parole period of three years after she is released and pay restitution. The judge also stipulated that Turner shall not gain financially from the case.

Psychiatrists say Turner’s behavior seems consistent with the psychological disorder Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

Parents or caregivers with the disorder seek attention from the illness of their children or dependents and sometimes cause them injuries that require attention.

Scripps station Denver 7 profiled Olivia Gant in April of 2017 as she was fulfilling a "bucket list" which included busting bad guys with Denver police officers.

She was made honorary chief for a day and rode along with officers.

She died about four months later.

Her body was exhumed in November of 2018 so an autopsy could be performed.

According to an indictment, Arapahoe County Coroner Dr. Kelly Lear wrote that Olivia’s manner of death was undetermined based on a series of nonspecific results.

She said that there was a lack of any findings that proved Olivia's death was caused by intestinal failure or any of the other illnesses that her mother claimed she suffered.

This story was first reported by the Associated Press with additional reporting from Stephanie Butzer at KMGH in Denver.