Victoria A. Sparrow of Stevensville was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the December 2008 death of her three-year-old daughter Laci. Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court Judge Thomas G. Ross sentenced Sparrow to life in prison, but suspended all but 50 years, and told her she would be on five years’ probation upon her release. He ordered the sentence in the state corrections system to begin December 17. Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney Lance Richardson said a person usually has to serve about half of a sentence before there is the possibility of parole.
Sparrow, 43, had earlier admitted mixing medications in Laci’s food and also trying to take her own life at her Stevensville home on December 17, 2008. Three medical experts later testified that she suffered from major depression, and two of them said she was competent to stand trial and was criminally responsible for the conduct that led to Laci’s death. Sparrow pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on July 21, but pleaded not criminally responsible by reason of mental illness. On August 6, Ross found her criminally responsible for Laci’s death and ordered a pre-sentencing investigation.