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The Nation | IN BRIEF / TEXAS

Mother Gets Life for Keeping Child in Closet

January 30, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

A Texas mother who starved her 8-year-old daughter in a locked and filthy closet was sentenced to life in prison for what prosecutors called unprecedented evil.

The Dallas jury of seven men and five women deliberated about four hours before handing down the maximum penalty for Barbara Atkinson, 30, who switched her plea to guilty last week on a felony charge of serious bodily injury to a child.

The girl's foster family says she has gained weight, is in kindergarten and is doing well.

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