A state appeals court panel has rejected a bid for re-sentencing by a woman convicted of second-degree murder for the death of her 23-month-old son, who lingered in a vegetative state for more than a month after being beaten by her live-in boyfriend.
In a Nov. 29 ruling, the three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal affirmed Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Daviann Mitchell‘s August 2022 decision that Rosie Lee Wilson was “ineligible for re-sentencing” under a change in state law that affects the convictions and sentences of defendants in some murder cases.
Wilson, now 30, was convicted in May 2017 by a jury in Lancaster of second-degree murder and child abuse involving her son, Anthony, who was on life support for about 45 days before dying. She is serving a 15-year-to-life state prison sentence. Wilson’s boyfriend, Brandon Williams, was convicted of first-degree murder, torture and assault, and sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison.
Two doctors testified that the boy would have had a good chance of surviving if he had been taken to a hospital right away, Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami said after the verdict.
In denying Wilson’s bid for re-sentencing, the Superior Court judge wrote last year that Wilson had “failed to perform her parental duty to care for her minor child by not taking every reasonably necessary step to protect her minor child in spite of his horrific and life-threatening injuries,” and “intentionally delayed seeking medical attention for her child.” The appellate court panel found in its 26-page ruling that “substantial evidence supports the trial court’s determination that Wilson is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of second-degree murder under both direct liability and aiding and abetting theories.”
The appellate court ruling noted that Wilson knew that Williams had recently injured the boy badly while taking care of him and did not immediately return home from a karaoke bar when Williams called and urged her to come home on Aug. 21, 2014, because the boy was hurt.
“Wilson’s conduct supports the inference that she intended to aid Williams in committing the life-endangering act of failing to obtain care for Anthony, apparently in order to cover up Williams’s abuse,” Presiding Justice Maria E. Stratton wrote on behalf of the appellate court panel. “Wilson did not take Anthony to the hospital, call 911 or obtain medical care for him for 12 hours after he became unconscious.”
Wilson “attempted to hide Anthony’s bruises with baby powder and makeup before taking him to the hospital. When Wilson finally did seek attention for Anthony, her lies about how Anthony received his injuries matched Williams’s initial account,” Stratton wrote, with Associate Justices John Shepard Wiley Jr. and Victor Viramontes concurring in the ruling.
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