Shaveta McGill was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for her fateful September 2007 decision to leave her 7-year-old daughter alone for three hours inside her St. Stephen home.
The child, Ta'Mya Grant, was discovered beaten to death.
McGill pleaded guilty Monday to unlawful conduct toward a child, and Circuit Judge R. Markley Dennis gave her five years, half of the maximum sentence.
Ninth Circuit Deputy Solicitor Bryan Alfaro said McGill admitted she left Ta'Mya alone around 10 p.m. Sept. 28 in an unlocked home. She returned about 1 a.m., discovered her daughter's body and called 911.
"The investigation is still ongoing as to who actually killed the child," Alfaro said. "It's still considered an active investigation."
McGill told police that she left the girl at her Welch Street home to go get cigarettes and that she then walked to another home nearby and met with two male friends. They drove her home.
Investigators found a blood splatter, a bloody handprint and a blood-stained, 10-inch piece of wood with a 1-inch nail protruding from it inside the home.
The State Law Enforcement Division is helping St. Stephen police with the case, which has puzzled them partly because there is no known motive.
It doesn't appear anything was stolen from the home, and investigators also have ruled out sexual assault as a motive. McGill did try to find a babysitter that night, investigators found.