Obese woman weighing 23 stone killed girl, 9, by sitting on her as punishment

An obese woman weighing 23 stone who killed a girl, 9, by sitting on her has lost her bid for freedom after being jailed for life.

Veronica Posey crushed Dericka Lindsay to death after sitting on her for six minutes as a punishment for being “naughty”.

The youngster – just over 3ft tall and weighing a little over 5 stone – died from a lack of oxygen.

Horrified doctors said her injuries were the worst they had seen in over 20 years.

Posey, 67, was jailed for life last March after being convicted of first degree murder.

Her attempts to appeal her life sentence have now been rebuffed by the courts due the disturbing nature of her crime.

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Florida court chiefs have upheld the conviction and sentence after finding Posey "wilfully tortured or maliciously punished" Dericka.

She also used her "considerable body weight" to restrain Dericka, even after the child told her twice that she could not breathe.

Two other members of the family are also behind bars over her death.

Dericka’s adopted mum Grace Smith, 72, was locked up for 20 years last May for aggravated manslaughter and child abuse.

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Her husband James, 66, is serving 10 years after he admitted doing nothing to intervene.

Posey’s trial last year was told: “Dericka died face down in a chair in her living room with her knees on the floor, lying face down in the seat of the chair, and the defendant sitting on top of her.

“The defendant admits that she weighs 320 pounds (22.8 stone) and this is a nine-year-old girl.”

The girl suffered horrific beatings from her elderly adoptive parents and Posey when she misbehaved, the hearing was told.

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In October 2017, Posey was woken by a call from Grace Smith asking her to discipline Dericka for “acting up” with her eight-year-old sister.

Prosecutor Amy Shea said: “Once her feet hit the floor getting out of bed, she was determined to beat these children.

She took a ruler and a thin pipe to give it “weight” and helped Grace Smith whip Dericka.

The girl was then forced to kneel down in front of an armchair and lean her body forward across the seat so her head was face down on the cushion.

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Posey then sat on Dericka’s back and she died because she could not breathe.

Dericka was said to have screamed twice that she could not breathe and Posey rang 911 after getting up.

Severe bruising found on Dericka’s bottom in an autopsy was described by the medical examiner as "injury, on top of injury, on top of injury.”

Posey's lawyer Michael Griffith claimed she had simply been trying to help the Smiths and had not intended to hurt Dericka.

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