BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A woman convicted of murder in the death of her 3-month-old daughter will return to Kern County for resentencing, where a lesser prison term could be imposed.
A three-justice panel from the 5th District Court of Appeal found no errors were committed by the judge or attorneys, but a change in state law requires Vanessa Wolfe be returned to the trial judge’s courtroom.
Under Assembly Bill 518, judges now have discretion, when an act is punishable by different ways under different provisions of law, to sentence a defendant under either provision. Previously, they were required to impose the provision resulting in the longest term of imprisonment.
Wolfe, 38, is currently serving 25 years to life for convictions of second-degree murder and assault on a child under 8. A new hearing has not yet been scheduled.
Co-defendant Eddie Leyva’s conviction for second-degree murder was upheld last week. He’s serving 15 years to life.
Wolfe and Leyva, 33, were arrested after their daughter, Adenalie, was found dead Oct. 30, 2014, at an apartment on L Street. The baby suffered injuries including more than 16 rib fractures, sepsis and a “massive” kidney infection, prosecutors said. Methamphetamine was found in her blood.
The child was also severely malnourished and dehydrated. Prosecutors said the couple didn’t get her help, allowing her to suffer for weeks.
A forensic pathologist “stated Adenalie’s appearance was consistent with having starved to death over many days, and her malnourishment was consistent with having kidney and lung infections and going many days without food and water,” court documents say.