Mom sentenced to 20 years after boyfriend allegedly killed child - WSMV Channel 4

Mom sentenced to 20 years after boyfriend allegedly killed child

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Neena Costanza Neena Costanza
Eloise Costanza Eloise Costanza
Jacob Hughes Jacob Hughes
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A mom whose baby was allegedly killed by her boyfriend in 2012 pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and aggravated child neglect.

Police say Jacob Hughes beat 17-month-old Eloise Costanza to death while her mom, Neena, was working at the Sonic in Bellevue.

While no one believes the mother ever laid a hand on her baby, the prosecution argued she didn't do enough and that if she had acted appropriately she might have saved her baby's life.

And in a surprise ruling Thursday, 22-year-old Neena Costanza was sentenced to 20 years in jail.

The woman was working when she received a text photo from Hughes showing Eloise with a big bruise under her eye. A little later, another photo message showed the girl with a serious head injury.

Neena Costanza then rushed home and called 911, but prosecutors say it was too little too late.

Eloise died the next day from what was later determined to be a skull fracture.

With no criminal record, and if she behaves well in jail, Neena Costanza could be out in four years.

Hughes is charged with felony murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect. His trial is set to begin June 16.

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