- Associated Press - Friday, June 5, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - Sentencing has been postponed until next month for an Arizona mother convicted of first-degree murder and child abuse in the death of her 5-year-old daughter.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge on Friday set Jerice Hunter’s sentencing for July 17.

Prosecutors say Hunter could face at least 35 years and up to life in prison.

The 41-year-old Hunter was convicted in April in the death of Jhessye Shockley who allegedly was beaten, neglected and confined to a closet before being dumped in a trash bin in 2011.

Authorities say Hunter kept her daughter at the family’s suburban Phoenix home and deprived her of food and water until she died.

The girl’s body hasn’t been found even after a three-month search of landfills when officers picked through 9,500 tons of garbage.

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