FARMINGTON — A Spencer Valley woman was sentenced to 25 years in prison Tuesday for killing her 4-year-old nephew and hiding his body in an ice chest, said U.S. Attorney Kenneth Gonzales in a prepared statement.
Last May, Evelyn James, 53, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of Alberto James, 4, who was found dead in October 2007. Evelyn James was Alberto's aunt and was acting as his guardian at the time of his death.
Her prosecution was delayed for mental competency proceedings.
In October 2007, FBI agents from Gallup and Farmington found the young child in a cooler, wrapped in plastic in a building next to Evelyn James' home in Spencer Valley, Gonzales said. Spencer Valley is in McKinley County.
Agents interviewed Evelyn James, and she described hitting and kicking the child and then finding him dead the next morning. Agents also found a notebook where Evelyn James described the child's death.