Norfolk mother sentenced to 30 years in child abuse case

Posted at 1:20 PM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 16:49:24-05

NORFOLK, Va. – A Norfolk mother will spend 30 years in prison for her role in her daughter's death.

A judge handed down the sentence Friday morning.

Heaven Watkins was found dead inside the family’s apartment on Balview Avenue in Ocean View on May 18, 2018. Latoya Smith, along with her boyfriend Demont Harris, were charged in Heaven Watkins’ death.

Smith previously plead guilty to felony child abuse and felony homicide.

She was sentenced to 50 years total in prison, but the judge suspended 20 years.

During the sentencing, Smith was emotional, crying loudly at times. She addressed the judge, saying she thinks about Heaven day and night, and wishes she could get her back.

Smith told the judge she wishes she could have done more that May night instead of going to sleep.

The prosecutor said Heaven’s two siblings are in the process of being adopted by their foster parents.