WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- A Milwaukee County judge sentenced Angelica Belen on Friday, September 27th to 18 years in prison plus another 18 years of extended supervision.
Belen is the mother who admitted to causing the death of her three children. She pleaded guilty in July to three counts of neglecting a child (consequence is death).
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. The fire happened in April near 78th and Hicks.
Belen 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.
In court on Friday, Det. Nicholas Pye of West Allis Police Department said, "In 22 years of law enforcement, this is the worst thing I have ever seen."
Family and friends went before the judge. All shared a similar pain.
"It is beyond my comprehension how a mother could do this to her children," said Leah, Belen's sister.
"Her intention was to protect her children and keep them safe, your honor," said Sharon Fredericks, Belen's aunt.
Before her sentence was handed down, Belen said, "I'm sorry this has hurt everybody so much. I never wanted this to happen, I never wanted to hurt anybody in my life."
The prosecutor in this case called this not only a failure in parenting, but a failure of the child welfare system.