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Mother burns her 11-year-old daughter with cigarette and punches her to death because she stole food

By Mason White 4:08 PM January 31, 2017
Nicholette Lawrence and Raashanai Coley
By: William Martin

(Scroll down for video) A mother severely abused her young daughter by burning her with cigarettes and beating her with a belt because she stole food, according to police in Illinois.

Waukegan police said that they have arrested 35-year-old Nicholette Lawrence, after being accused of punching her 11-year-old daughter in the stomach until she died.

Lawrence has been charged with one count of first-degree murder. She was booked into the Lake County Jail, and her bail has been set at $5 million.

In court, Lawrence pleaded guilty to murder. She was sentenced to serve 43 years in prison without the possibility of early release.

According to the criminal complaint, Raashanai Coley had been kept in a closet because she stole food. Coley’s younger brother told police that his mother used to tell them that the girl had been bad.

He often saw Lawrence beating his sister with a belt and being burned with cigarettes. One day, Lawrence punched the young girl in the stomach, causing it to rupture.

She died of an infection. Lawrence called for help, but by the time paramedics arrived, the girl was already dead. During sentencing, Lake County Circuit Judge James Booras asked “how can humans do this?”