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Turrubiates gets 20 years, higher sentence, for killing toddler

OLIVIA -- Sergio Turrubiates Jr., 21, of Olivia, was sentenced this morning to 20 years in prison on a second-degree murder charge for the December 2010 death of 19-month-old Tiana Moore.

Turrubiates's sentence was a 24-month upward departure due to the aggravated factors, including the vulnerability of the child and particular cruelty of the crime, found by District Judge Dwayne Knutsen.

Before he was sentenced, Turrubiates said he was sorry for the child's death and that he thinks about the little girl every day.

The child's mother, Kristina Kirscher, took the stand to give a statement during the sentencing hearing. "I know there is nothing I can do to take this pain away," she said.

Tiana Moore died on Dec. 24 at the Children's Hospital in St. Paul. Doctors testified that her chances of survival would have been improved if she would have been provided care sooner. Turrubiates admitted that he did not immediately seek help for the child when she suffered severe injuries to her head and that he attempted to cover up what happened to the child.