Woman convicted of murdering goddaughter sentenced to 33 years in prison

POSTED: 04:04 PM MST Jan 17, 2013    UPDATED: 07:36 PM MDT Aug 04, 2014 
EL PASO, Texas -

An El Paso jury on Thursday handed down a 33-year-sentence to a woman convicted of murdering her 2-year-old goddaughter.

The case started on Monday, but the sentencing took nearly an entire day.

For hours, the mother of Shawntrell Dawkins waited to find out what her daughter's fate would be just one day after she was convicted of a murder charge.

Shawntrell had been in a prison cell awaiting this week since 2008 when she was charged with capital murder. She could have faced life in prison when this trial began but Thursday jurors deliberated a sentence between five and 99 years.

Her mother pleaded with jurors early Thursday morning, telling them she was great around kids, and that children genuinely loved being around her.

She then begged them for leniency for her daughter.

While 33 years seems like a long time, Shawntrell's lawyer Stuart Leeds told ABC-7 it would likely be exciting for her as it means she will have a life to live when she's finished.