Elk River, Minnesota: Yesterday Brett Jason Hallow and Sarah Kay Hallow were both sentenced to 40 years in prison for the death last August of 8-year-old Autumn Hallow after they had plead guilty to the charge of second-degree murder in June.
In addition to the charge of murder, Brett and Sarah also plead guilty to charges related to the abuse of other children in the home dating back to 2019.
KSTP reports that prior to sentencing prosecutors added the charge of felony threats of violence against Sarah due to video evidence that had been obtained from an incident of abuse in November 2018.
Autumn's biological mother, Kelsey Kruse had been denied access to her daughter since January 2020, partially due to concerns over COVID. Kruse saw her daughter for the first time in months at the funeral home.
"I walked into the room and she was laying there, lifeless and little," she said while reading a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing. "Her head was shaved, she had marks on her face and scalp. Under the sheet, her shoulders looked so small. I kept staring at her trying to recognize her. She did not look like the Autumn that I remember and I was convinced it was not her."
"The hardest part is not that my daughter is dead. It's how she died, how she suffered," Kruse continued.
KSTP further reportedly uncovered documentation of allegations of abuse in the Hallow home dating back to more than a year before Autumn died. Those documents are now a part of a $30 million federal lawsuit that Kruse has filed against the Sherburne County Child Protection Services, Elk River Police, and other agencies for failing to take action to protect her daughter.