A Rhode Island woman whose adopted 9-year-old special needs daughter was found dead in a bathtub in the family’s squalid home in 2019 has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.
A judge on Wednesday sentenced 58-year-old Michele Rothgeb to 15 years for the death of the girl, Zha-Nae Wilkerson, and an additional three years related to neglect charges involving seven other special needs children she was caring for.
The Warwick woman pleaded no contest in August to manslaughter and multiple child cruelty and neglect charges. Under the agreement, she faced half of the maximum 30 years for the manslaughter charge, NBC affiliate WJAR reported.
During the case, prosecutors said the home was a "house of horrors" where investigators found feces, bugs and trash after Zha-Nae's death, according to the news station.
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