A South Bend grandmother found guilty of not reporting abuse that led to the death of her grandson was sentenced to 50 years in prison today.
Tramelle Sturgis was beaten in the family's West Washington Street home last November and died. His father Terry Sturgis is now serving a life sentence for that murder.
A jury convicted 53-year old Dellia Castile of neglect last month in his death.
WSBT's Colleen Ferreira, who was in the courtroom this morning, reports the judge could have given Castile 55 years. The minimum was 20.
Emotions were running high in the courtroom this morning. Dellia's daughter was there, crying uncontrollably the entire time. Dellia herself was sobbing.
Before the sentence we heard from one of her grandchildren abused by his father Terry Sturgis. Prosecutors called the 14-year-old boy to the stand. He said "she chose my daddy over the kids...it's time to step up and do what's right"
"I want to apologize, sorry if I let you down,” Castile said during the hearing. “My main focus was on your cousins. I should've paid more attention. I didn't know I had to."
This is in response to the abuse the kids endured inside that home.
Prosecutors all along said she knew the abuse was going on and didn't report it. Defense said she led a separate life from her son, Terry Sturgis, and her grandkids, and didn't know what happened in his part of the home.
Many people can't comprehend what these children endured, but some had to live through the details every day in court and through the investigation.
Prosecutors say this case has been an emotional ride.
"I think my kids have bruises of me hugging them so hard over the past year,” said prosecuting attorney Joel Gabrielse. “It's been tough to go through it. We're not just professionals, we're people. It’s pretty tough."
Along with Castile's daughter, her uncle took the stand in her defense before the sentencing. Also, Tiffany Townsend, the childrens' biological mother who lives in Illinois.
Coming up tonight at 5 and 6 on WSBT News: Before sentencing the judge shared her thoughts on the case for the first time. You'll definitely want to hear what she had to say.