Mother Sentenced in Daughter's Murder

Elizabeth Holloway, 9, once told her sister she thought she was going to die



    NBC San Diego

    A woman who admitted to punching her 9-year-old daughter in the stomach and causing the child's death, was sentenced to prison Tuesday. 

    Crystal Cardenas entered a guilty plea last month to second-degree murder in the death of her daughter Elizabeth Holloway.

    In January 2011, Holloway was rushed to the hospital after she was found not breathing and with a fixed look in her eyes at a Mountain View home.

    As the investigation unfolded, prosecutors shared a painful story of the abuse suffered by Holloway over 17 months after the child moved from the custody of her father in Los Angeles to live with her mother in San Diego. 

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    At various times, Holloway was strangled, punched, kicked, burned and thrown to the ground prosecutors said.

    In her final days, Holloway suffered a bruised pancreas from a punch in the stomach the medical examiner confirmed. She then suffered a slow and painful death over the next day according to investigators.

    “Elizabeth vomited a few times over these days. She described not being able to feel her legs and she told her 7-year-old half-sister that she thought she was going to die,” prosecutor Lindsey Krause said at a pre-trial hearing in February 2011.

    In court Tuesday, Cardenas was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.