It took five years, but a woman who played World of Warcraft day after day as her three-year-old daughter wasted away, dying of malnutrition and dehydration, is headed to prison. Rebecca Colleen Christie of Las Cruces, New Mexico was sentenced to 25 years in prison yesterday.
Christie's case was at the vanguard of the horrifying news trend of children dying or being hurt while their staggeringly inattentive parents nurse gaming addictions, particularly in social media or MMO gaming. Christie was convicted in November 2009 on second-degree murder and child abandonment charges. It wasn't clear why it took nearly two years to sentence her.
The case against Christie showed that the day the girl died, Christie had been playing Warcraft and chatting with friends she'd made online for 15 hours. Prosecutors said there appeared to be so little food that the girl ate cat food.
Her father, an Air Force sergeant, had been away for nine days when the girl died and expressed reservations about his wife's inability to care for the girl. When a 3 1/2-year-old is eating cat food while mom plays video games, she probably needs a little more from her father than the expression of reservations. He has pleaded guilty to child neglect and will be sentenced in two weeks.
Mother Sentenced to 25 Years for Murder [Las Cruces Sun-News, thanks Bryan C.]