Billy Bob Thornton's daughter gets 20 years in godchild's death
Billy Bob Thornton's estranged daughter Amanda Brumfield was sentenced in Florida on Thursday to 20 years in prison in the death of her 1-year-old goddaughter, Olivia Madison Garcia.
"I miss Olivia just as much as anybody does," was the only thing Brumfield told the judge before being sentenced, the Orlando Sentinel reported. She'd had a friend read a letter she'd written to the court.
Heather Murphy, the child's mother and at one time Brumfield's best friend, delivered what the Sentinel called an emotionally wrenching statement about her child, telling the court how older daughter Isabella still asked when "Liv" was coming home and on her birthday wanted to tie an ice cream cone to a balloon so her sister could have it in heaven.
Olivia died of a skull fracture and brain bleed in October 2008 while staying overnight at Brumfield's Ocoee, Fla., home.
Brumfield, 32 and the mother of two kids and a stepchild, is the oldest of Thornton's four children, born in 1978 to the actor and his first wife. The "Sling Blade" Oscar winner, famously married for a while to Angelina Jolie, has had kids with three women, and been married and divorced five times.
Melissa Parish, Thornton's first ex-wife, defended her daughter in 2009. She likened the child's death to that of Natasha Richardson, saying there was no way her daughter could know the child was injured and shouldn't be held responsible for the death. At the time, Thornton's publicist said the actor had not spoken to his daughter in "a substantial number of years."
Though found not guilty of first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse, Brumfield was convicted of aggravated manslaughter in May. Coincidentally, her guilty verdict came during the Casey Anthony trial, in the same courthouse where Anthony in July was found not guilty in the death of daughter Caylee.
Brumfield maintained that Olivia fell while trying to get out of her playpen and hit her head; prosecutors argued that an accidental fall from that height couldn't have done the damage. Murphy said the sentence was more than she'd expected. The defense had hoped for a lighter sentence. Brumfield got credit for 165 days' worth of time served, and must pay $10,000 in court costs.
-- Christie D'Zurilla
Reuters contributed to this report.
Photos: Amanda Brumfield, the estranged daughter of Billy Bob Thornton, left, looks at her family in an Orlando courtroom Thursday after being sentenced to 20 years in prison for the 2008 death of her goddaughter. Credits: Scott Gries/Getty Images, left; Red Huber / Orlando Sentinel / MCT, right.