Visalia mother found guilty of child endangerment, causing daughter's death

By Amanda Holtzer,

Nicole Lee, 34, was found guilty of child endangerment, in failing to protect her daughter from her boyfriend, who beat the 3-year-old to death in 2009.

Lee’s daughter, Natalynn Miller, died five years ago of blunt-force trauma. Lee’s boyfriend, 29-year-old Ryann Jones, attacked the girl in their Visalia apartment.

Jones was found guilty last year of second-degree murder and child abuse causing death. He is currently serving 25 years to life in prison.

KFSN reports that prosecutors say Lee failed to protect her daughter from her boyfriend. They claimed that Lee was well aware of the physical abuse Jones was putting Natalynn through, and knew that her daughter was in danger, but failed to do anything about it.

Natalynn’s father, Troy Miller, was present in the courtroom when Lee’s verdict was read. According to The Fresno Bee, he said in regard to his deceased daughter, “I think about her every day. I feel a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders.”

Nicole Lee wept uncontrollably when the Tulare County Superior Court jury announced that they found her guilty. Her sentencing is scheduled for July 15. She faces six to 10 years in state prison.



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