BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Beant Dhillon, the woman convicted of drowning her newborn grandson in 2018, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, plus four years.
Dhillon, 45, was found guilty of first-degree murder, among other charges, in December. Judge Kenneth C. Twisselman II delivered the verdict Friday, also adding that Dhillon was not eligible for probation.
Both of Dhillon's children addressed the court Friday. Her son and daughter both said they loved their mother and wanted to maintain contact with her.
Dhillon's daughter gave birth at the age of 15 in the family's Southwest Bakersfield home in the 5200 block of Shining Crag Avenue. Weeks later, her daughter discovered the infant was dead and buried in the home's backyard, not adopted as her family had told her.
During the trial, Dhillon's daughter testified that the father of the child was her older cousin Bakhshinderpal Singh Mann. She said they hid the pregnancy from her parents out of fear.
Dhillon's daughter testified that she gave birth alone in a bathtub before passing out. She said she does not know what happened after.
Prosecutors argued during the trial that when Dhillon found her daughter had given birth, she took the infant and drowned him in several inches of water.
Dhillon testified this was not the case, but that she instead was completely focused on her daughter. Dhillon's defense attorney David A. Torres argued that the infant's alleged father, Mann, was left alone with the infant for around 20 minutes and could have been the one to kill the infant.
During the sentencing hearing, Torres spoke to the alleged mental and physical abuse Dhillon experienced by her husband. Torres said that Dhillon was under his control and as a result was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
However, Judge Twisselman followed through with the sentence due to the gruesome nature of the case. He also cited Dhillon's failure to seek medical attention for her daughter and for the infant, even though she was a nurse and understood the need.
During the trial, prosecutors pointed towards Dhillon's admission to killing the infant. However, Dhillon testified she did so only to protect her husband and her nephew.
In February 2019, Dhillon's daughter told the police about the infant's death. Police exhumed the body on Feb. 26, 2019, and arrested Dhillon and her husband, Jagsir Singh. Singh posted his bail and in March of 2019 he hanged himself in the family's home.
Mann fled and his whereabouts are still unknown.