A 24-year old Grand Junction woman was sentenced earlier today for abusing her daughter.
Erin Despain sat in a Mesa County Courtroom this morning waiting for the judge to decide her fate, hoping he listened to her tearful apologies saying that while her physical injuries have healed. The mental trauma she's caused will be lifelong, behind her - her kids father Dartanin Mitchell shakes his head...
"To parent it takes two people, I was there during those times and I missed the exact same stuff the other people missed,” says Mitchell.
While Mitchell says he doesn't believe in physical punishment, he feels responsible for not being able to answer the question on everyone's mind - even DeSpain's -of how did a two month old baby end up with a fractured skull, broken ribs and a shattered leg.
“So I kind of feel responsible as far as that's concerned," says Mitchell.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Tammie Eret says this abuse came from a mother who didn't know how to handle her child. But as for the exact cause of the abuse, it's all an assumption since Despain says she doesn't know how her infant daughter got so injured.
Regardless of the cause, Despain plead guilty to child abuse charges as part of a agreement in June.
Mitchell says he's glad to have his kids back and that under no circumstances will Despain have contact with them even after her eight years in prison are up.
The DA’s office says the punishment fits the crime and they are satisfied with the judges decision.