A Rancho Palos Verdes woman was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years and eight months in state prison for the death of her 2-year-old daughter, who was left alone in a car for hours with the heater on in 2019, officials said.
Lacey Ana Mazzarella, 35, pleaded no contest on Oct. 20, 2020, to one count each of voluntary manslaughter, mayhem and child abuse resulting in death, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
Mazzarella had previously pleaded not guilty the year before to one count each of murder and child neglect resulting in death.
Just before midnight on Sept. 22, 2019, Mazzarella left her 2-year-old daughter, June Love Agosto, in a car, covering her with a blanket and turning the heater on. Meanwhile, the mom drank alcohol in another nearby vehicle with a friend until she “passed out,” the DA’s office said.
The following morning, deputies responded to a report of a “baby not breathing” in the 22400 block of South Vermont Avenue in West Carson, and found the child unresponsive, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The toddler was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Mazzarella told investigators at the time that she left her daughter in a parked car around 11:30 p.m. and left the engine running with the heater on so she wouldn’t get cold.
When Mazzarella eventually woke up around 5 a.m., she found her daughter unresponsive, with vomit on her shirt and on the car seat, according to the coroner’s report. She took the 2-year-old out of the car, put her on the grass and sprayed her with a water hose in an attempt to cool her down, authorities said.
A call to 911 was placed but by the time the toddler arrived at the hospital, her temperature had reached 107.5 degrees, according to a coroner’s report. She also appeared to have burns on her face, chest and arms, and her eyes were cloudy, officials said.
Mazzarella has a history of drug abuse, and lost custody of another child — then 3 years old — eight years ago due to neglect, officials said.