A Winchester couple may be sentenced to life in prison this afternoon for killing their daughter 18 months ago.
Patrick and Joy Watkins will be sentenced in Clark Circuit Court a month after they were convicted of murder for the death of 10-year-old Michaela Watkins in March 2007. She had been beaten and scalded between March 10 and 11, 2007 and received no medical treatment other than her parents buying a tube of burn cream and gauze.
The autopsy report detailed 35 cuts and abrasions to her head, a crushed chest, a broken vertabra and second- and third-degree burns down the back of her legs. The burn patterns indicated she was either held of placed in the scalding water, according to testimony during their trial.
Joy Watkins, Michaela's stepmother, admitted to biting her during one incident at their home, after the child bit her.
Through interviews with police following their arrest, the Watkinses said Michaela was acting strangely when they took a family trip to the Red River Gorge on March 11, 2007. The Watkinses told police that Michaela had a number of "issues" and had been abused prior to being placed in their custody. They said she had fallen down the stairs in their apartment on March 10. Medical witnesses said her injuries were not consistent with a fall.