Taft gets 25 years to life for son's death

By Kelly McCarthy

February 26, 2013 Updated Feb 27, 2013 at 2:47 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A Binghamton woman will spend 25 years to life in prison for the murder of her 2-year-old son.

Veronica Taft, 25, was convicted in August for the murder of her 2-year-old son, Lyric Taft.

Lyric was found dead in 2010 an apartment on Fayette Street.

For long-time friends of the Taft family, "maximum sentence" are the words they've been praying to hear, but it doesn't erase the pain Lyric endured, they said.

"He would come to my son's house with bruises, she would always explain it in ways of a two year old falling down," said Bruce Bigelow, a Taft family friend. "The boy suffered a terrible life in his 2 and a half years."

Chris Winans was one of the witnesses during Taft's August trial.

"He didn't even get to begin his life. He got to have a couple giggles and that was it," Winans said.

Winans was Taft's neighbor, and tried to resuscitate Lyric before paramedics arrived.

"I'm gong to live with this the rest of my life, the rest of my life," Winans said. "And as you can tell it still gets me choked up talking about it."

The Broome County judge presiding over the case said Tuesday Taft's conduct falls under the most horrific he's ever seen.

Prosecutor Peter DeLucia says Lyric's young age will always be remembered.

"When someone is vulnerable such as lyric was I think that's one of the reasons we all felt so strongly," DeLucia said. "He wasn't in a position to defend himself, and the person that was there to protect him wasn't defending him."

Taft maintained her innocence in court Tuesday.

Taft received the maximum sentence, but her attorney says they will appeal.

"Yea, she may be appeal it, but you know what, I'll be right there when she appeals it and I'll be able to tell my case again," Winans said.

Winans now focuses on keeping Lyric's memory in the hearts of his family.

"Just don't forget him, you know?" Winans said. "Because he really suffered. Really bad. And he's a little angel, and I didn't even know him that well but he was a little angel."

Taft's time in prison will also cover sentences for felony manslaughter and charges of endangering the welfare of a child.

She has 30 days to submit an appeal.

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