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Madison woman learns her fate for torturing stepdaughter Friday

Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A Madison woman will be sentenced Friday afternoon for torturing and starving her teenage stepdaughter until she got down to just 68 pounds.

43-year-old Melinda Drabek-Chritton struck a plea deal in April. She avoided a trial by pleading no contest to reckless endangerment and mentally harming a child.

Those charges carry maximums of 25 years in prison and $50,000 in fines. Four other counts were dropped.

Authorities said the defendant’s stepdaughter was locked in a basement and starved for years, until she broke away in February of 2012. She was 15 at the time.

In March, a Dane County jury convicted her husband Chad Chritton on two counts of child neglect. A mistrial was declared on four other charges, after the jury could not reach unanimous verdicts.

Chritton will be re-tried on those counts starting February 12th.

Also, the girl’s stepbrother is scheduled to go on trial early next year on charges that he repeatedly molested her. 

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