Chicago woman faces life in prison for granddaughter’s death

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CHICAGO (AP) _ A Chicago grandmother could serve up to life in prison for the first-degree murder of her eight-year-old granddaughter.

Helen Ford is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday by the same Cook County judge who convicted her of Gizzell Ford’s 2013 murder. Prosecutors say the 70-pound girl was beaten and tortured to death by her 275-pound grandmother.

Andre Ford was also charged in his daughter’s murder but died in jail awaiting trial. Prosecutors allege Gizzell was dying of kidney failure from being denied food and water even before she was strangled.

An Illinois Department of Children and Family Services investigator visited the home a month before Gizzell’s death. A doctor also found a suspicious injury weeks before the girl’s death, but did not report suspected abuse.