- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

GRANTS, N.M. (AP) - A Las Cruces mother convicted in one of New Mexico’s most horrific child abuse cases has been released after serving less than half her sentence for good behavior.

Stephanie Rene Lopez left prison on Wednesday as reporters watched her exit the Grants facility.

Lopez was sentenced to 27 years in 2003 for negligent child abuse resulting in death and child abuse after her daughter, known as Baby Brianna, died.

Brianna’s father and uncle were also convicted.

Authorities say Brianna, who died in July 2002, had been sexually assaulted and suffered multiple injuries.

Public outcry led to state law now mandating 30 years in prison for child abuse resulting in death.

The Baby Brianna Foundation says it is saddened but the law cannot be enacted retroactively.

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