LANCASTER, S.C. (AP) — A 28-year-old woman serving a life sentence for beating a child she was babysitting to death has been denied a pardon even though she said she has less than a year to live after being diagnosed with cancer.
A pardon board in South Carolina unanimously voted to keep Kayla Marie Cook in prison, The Herald of Rock Hill reported.
Cook was convicted in Lancaster County a year ago of homicide by child abuse for beating 3-year-old Lillian Schroeder in 2017.
Cook told the board she had cancer in her neck and head and doctors have told her it is incurable. She was released on bond in 2018 while awaiting trial because she was getting cancer treatments.
Family members of the girl and law enforcement investigators on the case asked that Cook remain in prison because of how badly the child was beaten and the severity of the crime, prosecutor Randy Newman said.
South Carolina law said prisoners can ask for a pardon when they have less than a year to live because of a terminal illness.