- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) - A 17-year-old girl who pleaded guilty in the killing of her foster mother in her southern New Mexico home now faces roughly 10 years in prison.

District Court Judge James W. Counts on Wednesday sentenced Alexis Shields to 30 years in prison but suspended 17 years of the sentence.

The remaining 13 years of the sentence will be reduced by the 999 days that Shields has spent in custody since Evelyn Miranda was killed in June 2011, the Alamogordo Daily News (https://bit.ly/1nhRpDw ) reported.

Shields pleaded guilty in December to first-degree felony murder of Miranda, who was found dead in her San Patricio home.

A co-defendant, who also was 15 when Miranda was killed, awaits trial in the case. The Associated Press is not using her name because of her age.

Authorities say the girls stole Miranda’s car, cellphone and computer. They were captured at a friend’s home in Carlsbad.

Counts said Shields committed a monstrous act that required a lengthy period of incarceration.

Speaking incoherently at times, Shields said she did not want to be perceived as “infamous” but added she had taken responsibility for her actions.

“I’m not asking for anyone’s sympathy; I’m just asking for forgiveness,” she said. “I am very sorry from the bottom of my heart.”

A prosecutor called for a 15-year sentence, characterizing Shields as manipulative and lacking remorse.

“It was a horrific crime, obviously, and Evelyn was a great person,” Deputy District Attorney John Sugg said.

However, Sugg said the sentence imposed by Counts was fair and just considering the fact that Shields was 15 when Miranda was killed.

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