A Buford woman accused of starving her 5-year-old daughter has been sentenced to probation after entering a plea to second-degree murder and child cruelty charges in the child’s death.

Porscha Danielle Mickens, 31, was sentenced Tuesday, April 26, to 20 years of probation by Northeastern Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge C. Andrew Fuller.

Porscha Mickens

Mickens’ daughter, Kylie, weighed less than eight pounds when she died in June 2020. An autopsy conducted by the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office determined her death was a result of malnutrition and dehydration due to medical neglect. She was born with the rare 1p36 deletion syndrome, a chromosomal deficiency that causes intellectual disability, abnormalities of the skeleton, weak muscle tone and difficulty swallowing.

“I didn’t realize she was dying. … (When) her body shut down, I had seen that before, so I didn’t think that she was dying,” Mickens told the court.

Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh had requested a sentence of 30 years, with 25 to be served in prison and five years of probation, but Fuller decided a prison sentence was unwarranted.

According to WSB-TV, Mickens’ friends and family members testified she constantly cared for her daughter and had taken her to 14 specialists and a naturopathic doctor. Mickens testified about the difficulty of caring for a child with the rare condition and said her daughter was eating the same amount daily and that her weight fluctuated on a day-to-day basis.

“It should go without saying that the court’s sentence does not lessen the value of Kylie’s life,” Fuller said. “Generally speaking, imprisonment is less of a sentence utilized and imposed when criminal negligence is at issue.

“The court can only hope that you will suffer a greater punishment simply by that fact than any punishment that this court could impose on you, the fact that you lost Kylie and will not have her in your life for the rest of your life,” Fuller said.

Porscha Mickens was initially charged alongside Kylie’s father, Jerrail Maurice Mickens, who died in a motorcycle crash in November 2021, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Related: Buford residents face murder charges in daughter’s death 

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