MINNEAPOLIS - A 23-year-old Minneapolis woman was sentenced to more than 10-and-a-half years in prison for the murder of her daughter.
Deqa Mohamed Yusuf pleaded guilty to second degree murder in November. Yusuf was sentenced to 128 months in the death of the 2-year-old, even though prosecutors had asked 150 months, saying Yusuf had not taken full responsibility for the toddler's death.
Police were sent to Yusuf's northeast Minneapolis apartment just before midnight on May 31, and found her screaming that her daughter was dead. Yusuf told officers she left the little girl in the bathtub to get something from another room, and returned to find the child under water. Police say she was clearly drunk and according to her own attorney, Yusuf's blood alcohol level was more than .20 at the hospital later that night.
The 2-year-old was rushed to the hospital, and died two weeks later.
Prosecutors pointed out that there had been efforts through child protection and by friends and relatives to help Yusuf overcome her alcoholism and be a better parent, but she continually made the wrong choices.
"I don't know what to say about why I am standing up here today," Yusuf told the judge. "I miss her every second of my life. I will never get to see her, no matter how much time I do. If I got my alcohol straight, I wouldn't be here today."
Hennepin County District Court Judge Marilyn Kaman was sympathetic, calling the girl's death "a true tragedy" and noting that Yusuf "will be living with it the rest of her life," making 128 months sufficient punishment.
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