A former Lake Havasu City resident has pleaded guilty to one felony count of attempted child abuse, two years after the death of her daughter.
Brittany R. Rodriquez, 27, will be sentenced in August, following a plea agreement signed last week. Rodriquez, who has awaited trial since January 2018 on charges of first-degree murder, will face a presumptive sentence of five to 10 years in prison under the terms of the agreement. In pleading guilty to the charge of attempted child abuse, Mohave County prosecutors will dismiss the counts of first-degree murder by domestic violence.
Rodriquez’ plea follows that of the child’s father, Andrew Lamorie. Facing charges of first-degree murder, Lamorie, 24, pleaded guilty in May to second-degree murder by domestic violence. He will face a presumptive sentence of 10 to 16 years in prison.
The case began in January 2018, when Rodriquez’ and Lamorie’s youngest daughter was found on the floor of their closet, barely breathing. Paramedics transported the girl, identified as 2-year-old Gabriella Lamorie, to Havasu Regional Medical Center. She was then flown to a Las Vegas hospital for emergency medical treatment. Gabriella Lamorie survived three days before she was declared brain dead.
Medical officials allegedly told investigators the victim suffered injuries consistent with physical abuse. Gabriella Lamorie’s injuries included intestinal trauma, multiple contusions, bruises and bleeding in her brain, according to police. According to the Clark County Coroner’s Office, the victim’s cause of death appeared to have been blunt head and neck trauma, with severe malnutrition cited as a significant underlying factor.
According to the initial police report, Rodriquez told detectives in the case that she should have done more to protect her daughter. Rodriquez and Gabriella Lamorie had each been victims of physical abuse by Lamorie prior to Gabriella’s death, she allegedly told investigators.
As the case nears its conclusion, Rodriquez and Lamorie remain incarcerated at Mohave County Jail as they await sentencing in the case. Lamorie will be the first to appear in Mohave Superior Court for sentencing in the case, where Superior Judge Billy Sipe will choose whether to accept the plea agreement offered by prosecutors.
According to statements made by Sipe in May, however, it won’t be an easy sell.
“I can tell you right now that you’ll have a hard time selling (Lamorie’s) plea agreement to me unless there are some sort of extenuating circumstances,” Sipe told attorneys at Lamorie’s change-of-plea hearing last month.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys were directed to draft briefs to justifying the agreement offered to Lamorie. Those briefs are expected to be submitted to Sipe in advance of Lamorie’s June 26 sentencing hearing.
Rodriquez is expected to appear in Mohave Superior Court Aug. 7 for her own judgment and sentencing hearing.