ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. — A woman accused of killing her 2-year-old goddaughter by placing her in a bathtub of scalding water will not face the death penalty, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said he would not pursue a capital murder case against Jamie Lee Wilson. The 22-year-old has been charged with first-degree murder for allegedly holding Briana Faucette in the bathtub while baby-sitting the toddler in December, and waiting hours before calling 911.
The child had bruises on her face and upper body, and her legs and waist were bright red with deep burns indicating she had been held under the hot water, according to an autopsy.
"After several meetings with the victim's family, we came to a joint decision not to seek the death penalty," Woodall said after a brief court hearing Tuesday. "At our last meeting they agreed it was probably the wisest thing to do."
The decision means Wilson could face life in prison if convicted.
Wilson cried as Woodall announced his decision.
"I just don't see any true remorse coming from her for what she's done," said Sherry Faucette, the child's mother. "And I think the tears are for relief we're not going after the death penalty."
Once best friends, Wilson and Faucette barely looked at each other in the courtroom. Faucette said she is still waiting for an apology from her former friend.
"It's just emotional," Faucette said. "Just seeing her, it kind of makes your stomach twirl like getting nauseous. It's somewhat sickening."
Faucette said although she thinks Wilson should die for the crime, she supports the district attorney in his decision.
As for Wilson, who is being held in the Orange County Jail, she had nothing to say to the judge. She simply said, "I love you" to her family and walked out of the courtroom.
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