MARTINEZ, Calif. – Nanny Jimena Barreto (search) was sentenced Friday to 30 years to life in prison after being convicted last month of murder in the hit-and-run deaths of two children.
Barreto, 46, got down on her knees and sobbed as she read a two-page letter expressing her remorse for the deaths of Troy Pack, 10, and his sister, Alana, 7. The children were riding a scooter and a bike on their way to get Slurpees with their mother and friends.
Barreto had been seen drinking earlier in the day and then spotted driving erratically in her gold 1979 Mercedes before the crash on Oct. 26, 2003. She swerved across two lanes without braking and smashed into the siblings. Barreto has denied drinking, but she admits taking prescription drugs, a painkiller and a muscle relaxant, earlier that day.
Judge Mary Ann O'Malley, who had received letters from Barreto's family and former employers attesting to her character, imposed the maximum sentence for the two counts of second-degree murder. The two sentences of 15 years to life will run consecutively.
Barreto begged for forgiveness from the judge and the children's parents — who also cried throughout the proceeding — saying she was a good person and never meant to hurt anybody.
"I am deeply sorry. I'm the sole cause of the terrible pain you are going through," Barreto said, struggling to get the words out. "I will not stop asking you and begging you and praying for you that you will forgive me one day."
Defense lawyer Craig Wormley said outside court that appealing her conviction remained a possibility.