A Virginia grandmother convicted of murdering her 2-year-old granddaughter by tossing her off a sixth-level walkway at a busy shopping mall was sentenced Friday to 35 years in prison.
Carmela dela Rosa was convicted earlier in Fairfax County of killing young Angelyn Ogdoc in November 2010 at Tysons Corner Center after a family trip to the mall's food court.
She will also have to serve three years of supervised release. Her lawyers say they will file an appeal within 30 days.
Before sentencing, Dela Rosa stood before the judge in tears, apologizing to her family for everything. Dela Rosa's lawyer argued unsuccessfully that her client was legally insane.
"It is clear from knowing Ms. Dela Rosa that she loved her granddaughter and would never do anything purposely to hurt her and as such her mental illness is the only reason, the only explanation for what happened," says attorney Dawn Butorac.
Defense witnesses testified that dela Rosa was diagnosed with severe depression and tried to kill herself on several occasions in the months before she killed Angelyn.
In a videotaped confession, dela Rosa told police she killed Angelyn to get back at her son-in-law for getting her daughter pregnant out of wedlock.
Judge Bruce White upheld the jury’s recommendation of 35 years behind bars, telling Dela Rosa "that a grandmother would do that to her granddaughter is beyond comprehension.”
He went on to say that he believes she knew exactly what she was doing when she killed her granddaughter.
"Resting on the insanity defense, I threw my granddaughter off a bridge but don't hold me accountable because I'm depressed - I mean that just doesn't wash,” he says.
Commonwealth attorney Ray Morrogh says baby Anglyns parents, James and Cat Ogdoc, are grateful that justice has been served.
"It's just been a real nightmare to be honest with you and they are unfortunately still in the nightmare," he says.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.