A Livingston County Judge today (Friday) sentenced a former Cullom woman to life in prison for the death of a foster-child who was in her care.
31-year-old Heather Lamie (Luh-ME) of Kankakee told the judge before she was sentenced, that "she loved 4-year-old Kianna Rudesill; that she never hurt her."
Before Livingston County Associate Judge Mark Fellheimer handed down natural life in prison sentence — mandated by law because of Kianna's age — Lamie said she wished she would have been more responsive to a bruise Kianna suffered near her ear during a fall the day before.
Judge Fellheimer upheld the murder verdict and said he did not have the authority to reduce the charge, even though the defense asked the court to acquit Lamie, saying there was insufficient evidence she committed the crimes. He said if the judge was not convinced of that, he asked the verdict be reduced to second-degree murder.
The judge also denied a request for a new trial.
Livingston County State's Attorney Seth Uphoff maintained that Lamie was the only adult in the Cullom house when Kianna suffered blunt force trauma to the head on May 3, 2011. Kianna died the next day. Lamie was indicted on murder charges in June 2013. A jury returned two guilty verdicts on Oct. 7: murder and endangering the life or health of a child.
Lamie has 30 days to appeal.