FLORENCE — With her murder trial just a month away, Brittany Velasquez accepted a plea agreement from Pinal County prosecutors Monday.
The 22-year-old woman is accused of killing her two young children by leaving them unattended in a car for hours in Superior in March 2018.
Monday, Velasquez pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and child abuse. The presumptive sentence for the murder charge is 20 years imprisonment with a term of 13 to 35 years possible. The child abuse charge was amended into a Class 2 felony with a presumptive sentence of 10 years and a sentencing range of five to 15 years possible.
Prosecutors dropped an additional murder and child abuse charge against her in the agreement.
Velasquez will likely serve 20 years in prison for her children’s deaths and will be on probation for the rest of her life, based on the plea agreement.
She was arrested in March 2018 after her 2-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter died from being left in a vehicle for hours. Autopsy reports show the children died from exposure and no signs of trauma were observed on their bodies.
According to public records, Velasquez allegedly told her grandmother she was taking her children to the park on the afternoon of March 25. It’s unknown what she actually did during that time.
The following morning, Velasquez told authorities she dropped the kids off with someone else before going to work. She didn’t return to Superior until 11 p.m. That’s when she reported finding her children unresponsive inside a vehicle.
She accused someone else of bringing the kids back to her house and planting them inside a car, according to a probable-cause statement.
According to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, there had been at least two prior incidents of Velasquez leaving a child unattended in a parked car for a prolonged period of time.
Velasquez remains detained at the Pinal County Adult Detention Center without bond and is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 10.