This is a story that made national news when it happened in 2006. A mother from Morton, Illinois killed her daughter who had autism. In a videotaped confession to police, 39-year-old Karen McCarron told them she could no longer deal with the difficulties of her daughter's illness. Kathryn was three-years-old when her mom used a trash bag to suffocate her.
A judge sentenced the former doctor Tuesday to 36 years in prison. The prosecution had asked the judge to sentence McCarron to 50 years. The judge said for justice to be served, McCarron must spend "much" of her life behind bars.
Chief Prosecutor Kevin Johnson said, "As I informed the court I thought she should be sentenced to a number of years that would make sure essentially her quality of life would be over if and when she was ever released for the Department of Correction."
Defense Attorney Mark Wolfe said, "We were hoping because of her mental status and her circumstances and all the evidence that came into trial we were hoping the judge would give her a substantially lesser sentence than he did."
McCarron's attorney says he will consult with Karen to find out if she wants to appeal. McCarron must serve 100 percent of her sentence.
Paul McCarron, Karen's husband, testified in January that she was obsessed with finding a cure for the little girl. Paul has filed for divorce.
There is a similar story that ended happily on CNN right now. A mother from China says she seriously thought about killing herself and her son who has autism. She ended up starting an autism school: the "Stars and Rain Education Institute for Autism." What an amazing journey!
CNN has been covering and will continue to cover autism all this month as part of National Autism Awareness Month.