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Grand Island woman pleads guilty to killing young girl

Grand Island woman pleads guilty to killing a young girl
Posted at 11:15 AM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-26 18:22:37-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Grand Island woman is expecting to face five to 15 years in prison when she is sentenced for the death of a 2-year-old girl.

27-year-old Brianna Valenti pleaded guilty Monday to Manslaughter in the First Degree. She admitted to causing the death of her boyfriend's daughter, Raelynn Rose Fuller, who died in September of 2018.

Investigators say Fuller was shaken to death.

The charge holds up to 25 years in prison, but the judge in this case said she is looking at a sentencing of five to 15 years. Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said he wants to see the maximum sentence.

"I'm on the 25 program, I'm going to ask for the full 25," Flynn said. "I suspect the family will ask for the full 25, but at the end of the day the judge can do what they want."

Robert Cutting, one of Valenti's attorneys, said the defense was looking to use it's own medical expert to contradict the findings of the Erie County Medical Examiner.

"In an ideal world I was hoping that we would develop medical information that was contrary to what the Erie County Medical Examiner's office's conclusions were," Cutting said.

He said that not having the evidence to contradict the medical examiner's evidence in trial left the defense in a situation where it needed to take a plea.

"We had information that perhaps the child's injury was suffered earlier on in the day and if we were able to contradict that part of the medical evidence we might have been able to establish the possibility that someone other than our client's responsibility for the injury," Cutting said.

Valenti was originally charged with Murder too. Evidence suggested she might have waited to call 911, but Flynn said the brain scan results he later received showed she did not wait. He said that if this case went to trial, because of that information, the murder charge could have been a stretch.

"Trying a case, and unethically over reaching, there's a fine line," he said.

Valenti will be sentenced in October.