A 47-year-old mother in Texas will spend the rest of her life behind bars for starving her 9-year-old daughter to death last year and falsifying evidence to mislead Child Protective Services about the girl’s condition.
Dawn Faith Hill-Flesner on Thursday pleaded guilty to one count of capital murder of a child under 10 in the August 2022 death of HardiQuinn Raina Hill and was sentenced to serve a term of life in state prison without the possibility for parole, authorities confirmed to Law&Crime.
Hill-Flesner’s live-in partner at the time, 43-year-old Jaimie Faye Anderson, also faces charges of capital murder and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence with the intent to impair. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is awaiting her day in court.
According to a report from Sweetwater ABC affiliate KTXS-TV, officers with the Brownwood Police Department responded to a 911 call on Aug. 22, 2022, about an unresponsive child at a residence in the 700 block of Avenue C in Brownwood, about 140 miles southeast of Austin, Texas.
Once there, first responders found a severely HardiQuinn, who was emaciated and without vital signs. She was rushed to a hospital, where she died that evening.
The child’s death came after a domestic incident in June 2022 that resulted in CPS opening an investigation into Hill-Flesner and Anderson, Abilene NBC affiliate KRBC-TV reported. Police reportedly said that Hill-Flesner and Anderson provided CPS with a video recording that was “false and misleading with the intent to affect the outcome of the CPS investigation.”
It was not clear what the fabricated recording showed.
The following month, Hill-Flesner and Anderson were arrested and charged with one count each of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair. Then, a Brown County grand jury in December returned true bills, indicting both women for capital murder.
The indictment alleged that both women “intentionally or knowingly” caused HardiQuinn’s death by “depriving her of adequate nutrition or limiting her access to food, subjecting her to inhumane living conditions, [and] depriving her of adequate sleep or bedding.”
Additional allegations stated the duo required HardiQuinn to complete a series of chores or tasks before she was allowed to eat, forced her to live without “plumbing, water, or sanitation,” and physically assaulted her.
During preliminary court proceedings, a CPS caseworker testified that on the day authorities found HardiQuinn in the home, she and her 11-year-old brother stayed in the downstairs area. It was covered in trash, had no running water, and had padlocks on the refrigerator and freezer, KRBC reported. The 11-year-old boy was reportedly also in a state of malnourishment and was removed from the home.
The caseworker further testified that the children’s living quarters appeared in stark contrast to the upstairs area of the home where Hill-Flesner and Anderson lived, the station reported. She reportedly said the upstairs area was clean and full of food.
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