SAN ANTONIO – A mother found guilty of starving her two young children will now spend 20 years behind bars.
On Thursday, jurors sentenced Kayela McClintick, 24, who was found guilty on two counts of injury to a child by omission on Wednesday.
It took jurors about two hours to hand down the sentence.
During the punishment phase of the trial, McClintick took the stand, telling jurors that she still did not feel guilty.
"I take responsibility," said McClintick. "They are my kids, but I do not feel guilty about it."
Mcclintick also stated that if she would have known that her two children were that bad off, she "would have acted on it."
According to the District Attorney's Office, Child Protective Services and police responded to a report of child abuse at her home in 2012.
When they got there they found McClintick's 6-year-old daughter in a closet and her 2-year-old daughter in an upstairs bedroom.
They said both children were starving and dehydrated, and the 2-year-old was also admitted to a hospital with serious bodily injury.
McClintick's lawyer told jurors Thursday afternoon that McClintick is already facing enough punishment because her kids were taken away from her.
However, prosecutors said the children suffered and in this case, there are no facts and circumstances that warrant probation.
"For the fact that mom was stripping, that mom was an escort, that she was drinking alcohol and partying while her children were starving," said prosecutor Catherine Wilson.
"We're not asking to walk away scot-free," said defense attorney Kenneth Bell. "We're not asking to be released today. What she is asking is, in lieu of 99 years to life, to have the ability to be rehabilitated."
McClintick could have faced life in prison, but jurors sentenced her to 20 years.