A Sioux Falls mother could spend six years in prison, after the deaths of her three children.
This afternoon, a judge sentenced Rhiannon White to six years in prison.
She'll be eligible for parole in 18 months and will earn five months credit for time served.
But that sentence isn't for the deaths of her children Michael, Savannah, and Alivia, who died in a house fire just days beforeCchristmas.
We have to remember Rhiannon was charged with drug possession and child neglect of her youngest daughter.
But the judge said just because people do bad things doesn't make them guilty.
He said he could not find any evidence Rhiannon actually caused the deaths of her children.
Rhiannon White appeared in court to hear her fate.
She sobbed at times as the state's attorney, and her defense team recounted the events of the fatal fire on the morning of December 22nd last year.
Then we heard from the judge, and Rhiannon herself.
"Your honor, I would like to start by saying thank you, thank you for saving my life . I have made and gone through many changes, during the last 144 days, I've spent in Minnehaha County jail. Most important, to admit that I am powerless over my addiction," White said.
Judge Bradley Zell said "for this court to not do what it has done in this sentence would not be justice to you, it would not be justice to this community or to this society, and that's what this sentence is about is justice."
You know, some people have remarked that Rhiannon couldn't have received a greater sentence than the loss of her three kids.
But the judge says he based his sentence on facts and not emotion.
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