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Associated Press, Published July 13 2012

Murder sentenced affirmed in Minot toddler's death

BISMARCK — North Dakota's Supreme Court has affirmed a Minot woman's murder sentence in the beating death of her 19-month-old boy.

The toddler's skull and jaw were broken and he was covered with bruises when he died in February 2011.

Cassondra Ayala pleaded guilty to murder in the child's death. Northwest District Judge Doug Mattson ordered the woman to serve 22 years in prison.

In her Supreme Court appeal, Ayala claimed Mattson didn't pay enough attention to her psychological problems when he was deciding her sentence.

The high court affirmed Mattson's sentence in a one-paragraph order on Thursday.

Ayala's boyfriend, Anthony Robinson, also pleaded guilty to murder in the case. Robinson was ordered to serve 27 years in prison.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.