Mom gets 30 years in baby's scalding death

On a March day last year, Estella Toleafoa ducked out of her apartment, went across the street and made two quick stops – buying cigarettes at a gas station and chicken wings at a restaurant next door.Roughly 20 minutes later, she returned to find her infant son lying dead in a bathtub — the victim of a horrific drowning in scalding-hot water.On Friday, 4th Judicial District Judge G. David Miller sentenced Toleafoa, an Iraq War veteran, to 30 years in prison after she pleaded guilty in October to child abuse causing death — a break from the first-degree murder charge she initially faced.Toleafoa, 23, claimed she left Erich Tyler Jr. and his 2-year-old half-brother Jamari Toleafoa in about an inch of water and returned to find the tub half-full.Jamari, who was uninjured, was placed with one of Toleafoa’s relatives in California.At the time, the boy’s father, Fort Carson soldier Erich Tyler Sr., was serving in Afghanistan and was flown home from combat.

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