Busch sentenced for 2008 killing of her young child

Cheryl Busch was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the 2008 murder of her 18-month-old daughter.

Cheryl Busch, the San Benito County woman who shot and killed her 19-month-old daughter in 2008, received a sentence Friday of 25 years to life in prison.

Judge Steven Sanders on Friday afternoon handed down the expected sentence for Busch, who pleaded guilty in April to the November 2008 murder of her daughter, Donna, on the family’s Shore Road property.

Busch shot and killed her daughter with a .357 Magnum. Her then husband John Busch, who called 911 the day of the shooting to report the crime, submitted a written statement to the court but did not speak at Friday’s sentence hearing.

Busch mostly peered down, her face covered by hair, as Sanders made his ruling.

Bush’s sentence of 25 years to life was a foregone conclusion after the plea, as she is not eligible for the death penalty.

Busch previously had pleaded not guilty and then not guilty by reason of insanity. She spent time at Patton State Hospital after she had been admitted there in March 2010. After she took part in a trial competency program at the hospital, a judge last May ruled she was mentally competent for trial. About five months ago, public defender Greg LaForge filed another motion on her behalf contending she is mentally incompetent for a jury trial. A judge in late November ruled for a second time that Busch is mentally competent to stand trial.

District Attorney Candice Hooper oversaw the prosecution.

Look back for more, including photos and video from the sentence hearing.

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