CAMERON, Texas – A 2-year-old girl, who was taken from her parents after her father admitted using marijuana, was killed by her foster mother.
Sherill Small was sentenced Tuesday, November 6 to life in prison for the July 2013 death of Alex Hill, a toddler who would have turned four Friday, Fox43 reported.
Alex was placed in foster care in 2013 after her dad Joshua Hill told Texas child welfare investigators he smoked after his daughter was in bed at night, according to the Houston Press.
A case worker determined that the father’s marijuana use and the mother’s medical condition — frequent seizures — warranted removal from the home, regardless of the child’s health and happy state.
Her parents, Joshua Hill and Mary Sweeny, reported bruises on their child during visitations.
Four months before Hill was set to regain custody, he received a call that Alex was in the hospital, where she later died.
Alex’s foster mother admitted to police that she accidentally slammed the child onto the floor.
Her autopsy revealed several bruises all around her body. A medical examiner stated her head hit the floor so violently that she had “subdural hemorrhaging, subarachnoid hemorrhaging, and retinal hemorrhaging in both eyes,” according to court testimony.
Hill and Sweeny said they were never told about Small’s numerous violations.
Small’s husband, who lived in the home while Alex was there, was a recovering crack cocaine addict and admitted to multiple drug charges. The couple admitted this information during the home study portion of their foster application, but their home was still considered a “safe environment.”