An Illinois judge sentenced a woman to 45 years
in prison Friday in the torture slaying of a pregnant, developmentally impaired mother, saying the beatings, scalds and gunshot wounds she suffered were beyond anything anyone should have to endure.
Madison County Circuit Judge Charles Romani Jr. was not swayed by convict Michelle Riley's expressions of remorse
"These were things done to this woman you don't see done to human beings, let alone animals
," Romani said in handing down his punishment in the January 2008 death of 29-year-old Dorothy Dixon. "This woman suffered, and suffered greatly. No one deserves to be treated like that."
What Riley and her cohorts inflicted on Dixon, who had been five or six months pregnant when she died, "was brutal and heinous to say the least," he said.
Riley, 37, told the court, "I'm sorry that I can't take it back."
Riley, who has three previous felony drug convictions, must serve all of the sentence except for the 700 days Romani credited her for the time she has already spent in jail.
Four other defendants, including three teenagers, await trial on first-degree murder charges. Another defendant, Riley's now-14-year-old son, has been sentenced as a juvenile to probation.
In arguing for the 45-year sentence, prosecutor Stewart called Riley's conduct "unconscionable" and pressed that Riley encouraged the torture instead of stopping it. Delaney countered that Riley acknowledges "she made a grave error" and accepts responsibility but didn't act alone.