- Created on Monday, 02 October 2006 03:45
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A judge in Manassas, VA, agreed to reduce sentence for Peggy Hilt, a North Carolina resident, who on July 1, 2005, beat to death her daughter adopted from Russia.
Hilt, 34, was sentenced in May to serve 25 years of a 35-year prison sentence, which went beyond the recommended guidelines between 12 and 21 years. She appeared last week before Judge William D. Hamblen of Prince William County Circuit Court for a motion to reconsider the length of her sentence. Her defense attorney, William R. Stephens, argued that Hilt has made substantial progress toward rehabilitation. Stephens also said he thought that media attention and focus on how the case has affected Russian adoption policy may have had an impact on the sentence Hamblen imposed.
After hearing testimony from Hilt on Thursday, Hamblen granted Stephens' motion and suspended 16 years of Hilt's original sentence, leaving her with 19 years to serve.
Hilt pleaded guilty in March to second-degree murder in the death of Nina Victoria Hilt, a girl she and her husband adopted from Russia.
The beating happened July 1, 2005, at the Hilts' Wake Forest, N.C., home. Read all the articles related to Hilt.