The Australian woman Lisa Cunningham faces a possible death sentence in the USA. UU After being charged in Arizona for the abuse and murder of her seven-year-old stepdaughter.
A Maricopa County judge ruled after a two-day hearing that Cunningham and her American husband, Germayne Cunningham, were eligible for the death penalty if they were sentenced at their next trial.
The Phoenix Times reported that Cunningham's daughter, Sanaa, died of pneumonia and complications such as sepsis in February of last year.
Prosecutors allege that the Cunninghams held Sanaa with plastic ties, an improvised jacket and shackles, forced her to wear diapers and locked her in a laundry room or outside.
The court heard Sanaa, who was afflicted with schizophrenia and other behavioral disorders, died four hours after she was taken to the hospital.
"There were many warning signs regarding his need for medical care," Judge Michael Kemp said at last week's hearing, according to the Phoenix Times.
"This was more than reckless behavior."
"This was more than a lack of attention and led to the death of the child."
The Weekend Australian newspaper reported that Lisa Cunningham, 43, grew up in Adelaide and moved to the United States after marrying a US military officer 20 years ago.