WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- Angelica Belen, a mother who admitted to causing the death of her three children will be sentenced on Friday, September 27th.
Belen's three children were locked inside the bedroom of a West Allis home during a horrible fire. There was no way out, and the children died.
Judge Wagner has received letters in advance of Friday's sentencing -- from those looking to sway his decision. All of the letters ask for leniency.
The fire happened in April near 78th and Hicks.
Five-year-old Nayeli Colon and her brothers, four-year-old twins Adrian and Alexis, died in that fire.
The children were locked in an upstairs bedroom while Belen was at work.
The newly-released reports say Belen initially told police her sister was supposed to be babysitting — and she never locked her kids in the room. But later, she said those were lies.
Reports also reveal prior complaints made to the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare about Belen’s parenting. The complaint says the “home was reported to be filthy,” “the children have been seen eating out of the garbage,” and Belen was seen “leaving her three children alone at home.”
The family had been meeting with an in-home case manager once a week. During a visit in February they “discussed proper supervision and how the children should, under no circumstances, be left alone.”
Belen eventually admitted to police that she locked her children in the room because she didn’t want them to hurt themselves or start a fire. She also said she was “afraid that they may get outside and cause the police or social services to be called.”
In July, Belen pleaded guilty to three counts of child neglect, resulting in the deaths of her children. The childrens' bodies were found huddled behind a dresser.
On the eve of her sentencing, the judge has received five letters from Belen's family members and friends -- asking for the judge's leniency.
A letter from one of Belen's sisters describes an overwhelmed single mother, trying to provide for her children.
A letter from Belen's pastor talks of "a mom who loved, knew and treasured her children." He asks the judge to "send her out soon into the community, instead of confining her to a prison."
A letter from a friend encourages the judge to look at Belen's past. He says "she had recently fled an abusive marriage" and had a sad childhood, saying "she started life in a home marked by neglect and abuse."
Instead of prison, Belen's friend asks that she get mental health treatment.
All speak of regret, pain and heartache that will not soon be forgotten.
Belen will be sentenced on Friday morning, and faces 45 years in prison.