She got just five years short of the maximum sentence. Jessica Santiago will spend at least the next 20 years behind bars. The 25-year-old mother was convicted of smothering her two-year-old son Lashawn Dunbar to death in May of 2006.
"This mother held a comforter over her child's head until he stopped breathing and then left him for 19 hours until he began to decay," said Assistant District Attorney Kristina Karle.
The case divided a community - Assistant District Attorney Kristina Karle received letters questioning why she would prosecute a mother, for that she has a simple answer.
"How could we not prosecute a mother who is responsible for the death of her son?"
"I would not believe it and I would always love her and I would always trust her word," said Thomas.
When the sentence came down,
"When you see her cry, it's not tears for her son. If she cared about her son and his life she wouldn't have been able to sit on that couch and go to sleep for 19 hours without checking on her son," said Karle.
"I don't understand why she just couldn't say what she did. I don't understand it. She wanted to blame everybody else, she did it, you just gotta own up to what you did," said lashawn’s grandmother Beverly Dunbar.
When given the chance to speak said she was innocent and wrongly convicted. She says she will appeal.