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An Albuquerque man who pleaded guilty to beating his 5-year-old daughter to death with a shoe in 2019 has been sentenced to life in prison.
Brandon Reynolds, 39, pleaded guilty April 28 to a charge of intentional child abuse resulting in the death of a child, according to the plea agreement.
Reynold’s life sentence requires him to serve 30 years before he is eligible for parole, according to the 2nd Judicial District Court order, which was filed Thursday.
The sentencing comes three years after Albuquerque Fire Rescue was called to Reynolds’ apartment in the 1400 block of Amherst SE and found his daughter, Sarah Dubois-Gilbeau, unconscious and not breathing.
Police began investigating after firefighters found extensive bruising on the girl’s body. Sarah was pronounced dead at University of New Mexico Hospital on April 4, 2019.
Reynolds told police the day of the killing that he became “triggered” after the girl said she did not want to do homework, prosecutors said in court records.
He admitted striking Sarah with a water shoe all over her body, and said “the spanking got so bad she wasn’t mobile” and her breathing and heartbeat became faint, prosecutors said.
There were apparently no warning signs before Sarah’s death. He had no criminal history and no record of abuse with the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.
Court records show that a judge awarded Reynolds custody of the girl in 2013 after her mother had tested positive for THC while breastfeeding. The child also tested positive for THC at birth.
During the custody battle, the mother wrote that Reynolds had PTSD, “which causes him to not be able to handle or care for a child properly.” She also argued that Reynolds “has a history of abandoning the mother and that may follow through with the child.”
However, a hearing officer concluded that Reynolds “is the appropriate parent to care for the child,” according to a 2013 report to a family court judge.
“Father is able to provide the care for the child and has support of his family,” the hearing officer wrote. “The child is happy and well cared for.”