Almost three years ago, a familiar story began - A woman held captive for 1,001 nights, to be shown mercy only if she could tell a story to satisfy her captor. For the family of 2-year-old Gabriella Lamorie, however, no judgement would ever bring satisfaction.
That story ended this week in the sentencing of former Lake Havasu City resident Brittany Rodriquez, who has pleaded guilty to felony charges of attempted child abuse. She was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison, with credit for 1,002 days served in custody at Mohave County Jail.
Rodriquez’ conviction follows a guilty plea by the child’s father, 24-year-old Andrew Lamorie, to charges of second-degree murder in the case. Lamorie was sentenced to 16 years in prison in the victim’s death.
The case began when Lake Havasu City investigators were called to the home of Lamorie’s mother, on Appletree Drive, after receiving reports that the victim was found unresponsive on the floor of a closet in the residence.
Paramedics transported the child to Havasu Regional Medical Center, to be flown to a Las Vegas hospital for emergency treatment. Medical officials would later describe to investigators injuries consistent with physical abuse.
Gabriella Lamorie survived in the hospital’s care for three days before succumbing to her injuries.
Police and prosecutors say the child’s injuries were caused directly by her father, and the Clark County Coroner’s Office reported the victim’s cause of death to be that of blunt head and neck trauma. The coroner’s office also reported that severe malnutrition appeared to be a significant underlying factor in the child’s death. According to investigators, the child appeared emaciated while under medical care, and prosecutors say Gabriella Lamorie weighed about 17 pounds at the time of her death.
Rodriquez and Lamorie was charged with first-degree murder in 2018.
Attorneys for Lamorie reported the child suffered from pneumonia which had gone undiagnosed, which may have contributed to the child’s death more than his alleged actions. According to court documents, that argument may have been supported by evidence in the case prior to Lamorie’s plea agreement.
Attorneys for Rodriquez argued that Rodriquez was also the victim of physical abuse by Lamorie, and was known to have struck Rodriquez on multiple occasions. According to the Mohave County Legal Defender’s Office, Rodriquez failed to protect her child from Lamorie due to the psychological impact of abuse by the child’s father.
According to a pre-sentencing report by Deputy Mohave County Probation Officer Andrew G. Sgroi, Rodriquez did not appear to take responsibility for the victim’s death.
“(Rodriquez) appears to harbor a victim mentality, as she blames the present offense on her codependent by stating, he ‘physically abused my daughter, resulting in her death’.”
As of this week, Rodriquez remained in custody at Mohave County Jail, to await transportation to an Arizona state prison facility.