WV woman sentenced to prison for her child’s death

West Virginia

Ariel Bennett, of Raleigh County, was sentenced to serve five to 25 years in prison Thursday morning after being convicted of Child Neglect Resulting in Death in February 2020. July 16, 2020 (Photo Courtesy: WV Regional Jail & Correctional Facility Authority)

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — A West Virginia woman has been sentenced to prison for the 2015 death of her five-month-old daughter, Gracelynn Bennett.

Ariel Bennett, of Raleigh County, was sentenced to serve five to 25 years in prison Thursday morning after being convicted of Child Neglect Resulting in Death in February 2020, according to the Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. She will also be required to pay an $11,000 fine.

After her release, Bennett will have 50 years of intense supervision and must also register on the child abuse registry for 10 years.

According to court records, dispatchers received a call November 7, 2015, regarding an unconscious five-month-old girl. She was later pronounced dead.

Bennett allegedly rolled over her daughter and suffocated her, in what Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Keller called ‘a drunken stupor,’ at the time of the trial. She was convicted on one count of child neglect resulting in death, and two counts of child neglect posing substantial risk of injury or death following the trial.

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