The pre-sentence investigation lasted several weeks, but now, Bennedetha Buckjune has her prison sentence. She received nine 20-year prison sentences for each count of physical abuse and sexual assault of a child and five 75-year sentences for each count of sexual abuse. She'll serve the prison time concurrently.
The judge told Buckjune it's the worst case of child abuse he's seen in his decades-long career.
Buckjune's cousin took the stand during the sentencing phase. She described Buckjune as a good mother to both her stepdaughters and three biological children. The woman called the charges against Buckjune unbelievable, but Assistant District Attorney Dawn Armstrong said the punishment fits the crime.
"I thought the judge did a good job and I agree with some of the sentiments that he expressed at the end - this was probably the worst case of physical and sexual abuse when you combine them both. It was probably the worst case of child abuse that I've prosecuted so far."
The judge also told Buckjune every time he thinks about the Hot Pocket incident, he wants to cry. He was referring to last month's testimony from the older stepchild that Buckjune stepped on her throat to make her throw up a Hot Pocket she had taken from the refrigerator.
Buckjune beat the girls every night with everything from hairbrushes and belt buckles to frying pans and metal rods. They are now in foster care.
Buckjune will have to spend at least 30 years in prison before she's eligible for parole.