Minnesota couple get 40 years in prison after starving daughter to death

Source: Associated Press

The father and stepmother of an 8-year-old Minnesota girl whose emaciated body was found in the family's apartment last year after she was beaten and starved to death have both been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Brett and Sarah Hallow.

Brett Hallow, 30, and Sarah Hallow, 28, pleaded guilty earlier to second-degree murder in the death of Autumn Hallow, who weighed 20.4 kilograms when she died.

"The loss of a child is grievous; the loss of a child at the hands of two who were entrusted to care for that child is beyond comprehension," Sherburne County Attorney Kathleen Heaney said during the sentencing hearing.

The sentence included enhancements for "particular cruelty", KSTP-TV reported.

According to the charges, police came to the family's Elk River home in August 2020 after being told the girl was partly submerged in a bathtub. Officers saw Sarah Hallow giving the girl chest compressions, even though her body was rigid.

"Based on the condition of (Autumn’s) body, law enforcement believed (she) had been deceased for some time," the complaint said.

Another child at the home told police the couple would tie up the girl with a belt and put her in a sleeping bag, with only her head exposed.

Brett and Sarah Hallow have also pleaded guilty to several charges related to the abuse of Autumn’s brother and another child.