A mother has been sentenced for the murder of her son. Veronica Taft will serve 25 years to life. Melissa Kakareka has more.
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Two-year-old Lyric Taft was found beaten and unresponsive inside his mother's Binghamton home in December of 2010.
Friends and family were at the Broome County Courthouse Tuesday to watch Lyric's mother be sentenced for his murder.
"Lyric was a sweet boy. He spent a lot of time with my son. My son took him fishing," said family friend Bruce Bigelow.
Veronica Taft was found guilty of second degree murder, manslaughter in the first degree and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child in August. She was sentenced to 25 years to life for the murder charge, 25 years for the manslaughter charge and one year for each count of endangering of the welfare of child. Those sentences will be served at the same time.
"I think the sentence that was given was just and appropriate under the circumstances," said Broome County Senior Assistant District Attorney Peter DeLucia.
Judge Joe Cawley called the crime horrific and incomprehensible. Prosecutors told the court that Lyric suffered more in two years of life than most people do in an entire lifetime.
"When someone is vulnerable such as Lyric was, that's one of the reasons we all obviously felt so strongly about it," said DeLucia.
Taft broke down into tears as she maintained her innocence. She told the court she never abused Lyric or any of her children and said she will never give up until the person who truly killed Lyric is punished.
Some family friends say they believe Taft was wrongly convicted, but others disagree.
"He would come to my son's house with bruises. She would always explain it as a two-year-old falling down. The boy suffered a terrible life for two-and-a-half years," said Bigelow.
Veronica Taft plans to appeal her sentence.