An Allport woman will serve up to 40 years in state prison for the murder of a two-year-old girl.
A jury in August ruled that Jennifer Ann Medzie, 22, was guilty of third-degree murder and related charges in connection with the death of Sophia Hoffman.
Medzie was back in Clearfield County Court on Monday, where Judge Fredrick J. Ammerman sentenced her to 20 to 40 years in prison.
The charges stem from an incident Nov. 15, 2013, when 2-year-old Sophia Hoffman became unresponsive at her Bradford Township home while in Medzie’s care. Medzie was living with the child’s father, Cody Lauder, at the time.
Never miss a local story.
The child was taken by ambulance to Clearfield Hospital before being sent by helicopter to the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, where she died a few days later, according to court records.
Throughout this case, Medzie stated that as she dressed the toddler, the toddler went went limp. Medzie claimed that nothing happened prior to Sophia being unresponsive, but the doctors said she suffered from blunt-force trauma to the head.
The judge heard from multiple family members from both sides before he announced Medzie’s sentence.
Lauder was emotional as he asked that Medzie receive the maximum sentence so she “doesn’t have a chance to do this again.”
Sophia’s grandmother told the jury that instead of going to Chuck E. Cheese with Sophia on her birthday in September, they went to the cemetery.
Medzie’s family spoke on her behalf, saying she is a good person and asking the court for mercy. Ammerman said he received more than 40 letters from people in support of Medzie.
Medzie herself addressed the court, saying she is “not a mean person” and loves being around kids. She said she just wants “to be out” to be with her family.
But District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. said that Medzie had not shown any remorse and “only speaks about herself.” He added that the child had multiple injuries and it was likely she had been abused for some time.
Testimony from medical experts at the trial revealed that the girl suffered bleeding and swelling in her brain from bruising in six different parts of her head.
The maximum sentence sought was 20-40 years in prison.