Fort Worth woman gets 35 years in strangling death of 3-year-old daughter

Posted Friday, Oct. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A 20-year-old Fort Worth woman was sentenced to 35 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to choking and killing her 3-year-old daughter last year at the family’s apartment in southwest Fort Worth.

Janice Rene Anthony, who previously admitted to physically abusing her daughter, Paris Howard, agreed to the plea bargain in state District Judge Ruben Gonzalez’s court.

On Sept. 6, 2012, police were called to the family’s apartment in the 5400 block of Enclave Circle. When they arrived, police found Paris Howard dead on the floor.

After a preliminary investigation, police found that the girl had obvious bruising of several areas of her body. The investigation revealed that Anthony had hit the child numerous times over the previous week over potty training issues, Homicide Sgt. Cheryl Johnson said.

Anthony initially claimed Paris had fallen down the stairs. She later admitted to physically abusing the girl, which led to her death, said Marissa Gonzales, a spokeswoman with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. She also said she choked Paris occasionally, including the night before she was found dead, according to the Tarrant County prosecutors.

Anthony will have to serve 50 percent of her sentence before she is eligible for parole, her attorney, Richard A. Henderson said.

Henderson said Anthony suffered severe physical abuse from a family member when she was a child. The district attorney’s office took that information into account before offering Anthony the 35-year prison sentence, Henderson said.

“That gave us a little more insight because normally, people don’t do these type of things,” Henderson said. “She did not get much support from her family. I think it was the best outcome for everyone.”

Anthony’s newborn son, born days after the girl’s death, was placed in foster care. Anthony relinquished her parental rights to that child and he was placed with a relative, Gonzales said.

This report includes material from Star-Telegram archives

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752 Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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