A West Philadelphia woman was sentenced Wednesday to 281/2 to 57 years in prison for the brutal beating death of her 3-year-old godson.
Common Pleas Court Judge Barbara McDermott imposed the sentence on Nadera Batson, 25, who severely beat the boy daily and burned him with hot liquid and a blowtorch over three months in 2011.
In August, a jury found Batson guilty of third-degree murder in the death of the boy, Jaquinn Brewton, and also convicted her of conspiracy to commit murder and endangering the welfare of a child.
According to trial testimony, Batson, who took the child in when his mother was unable to care for him, beat him daily and tortured him with a metal hair pick that she dragged across his body.
On June 29, 2011, paramedics found the boy lying lifeless and wearing only a diaper on the trash-strewn floor of a boardinghouse room where Batson lived with her boyfriend, Marcus King. She told police that Jaquinn had fallen down steps.
King pleaded guilty to third-degree murder. He was sentenced in October to 10 to 20 years in prison.
Jaquinn was at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for two weeks before he died of a pancreatic laceration caused by blows to his abdomen, which prosecutors said had "the force of a car accident."
Jaquinn's death was one of the most horrific child-abuse cases in Philadelphia in recent years, Assistant District Attorney Bridget Kirn said during Batson's trial.
At Wednesday's sentencing, McDermott said that 99 out of 100 Philadelphians would agree that Batson's actions were pure evil.
Batson poured boiling liquid on the boy's feet, causing so much swelling that he could not wear shoes, according to trial testimony. She used a cooking blowtorch to burn the toddler's bottom as punishment for problems in potty training.
Autopsy photographs showed the 32-pound boy had scars, burns, and bruises all over his body.
Ashley Brewton, Jaquinn's mother, testified that Batson offered to care for the boy when Brewton moved into a homeless shelter with three of her other children.
Brewton told a social worker from the Department of Human Services that she lost track of Jaquinn after he went to live with Batson. Brewton said she knew the block in which Batson lived, but not the address.
A city review of the case found that DHS failed to take any action to find the boy and did not file a missing-person report.