SPRINGVILLE — Almost six years to the day that Jennete Killpack was sent to prison for killing her daughter by forcing the 4-year-old girl to drink a gallon of water, the woman was released from custody.
Killpack was a model inmate, said Utah State Prison spokesman Steve Gehrke.
"She didn't have any write-ups in her time here," he said. "She pretty much followed the rules and did what she was supposed to do."
Killpack, who was convicted by a jury of child abuse homicide, was sentenced to one to 15 years in prison on Jan. 6, 2006, in connection with the 2002 death of Cassandra Killpack.
The board ... concluded she did not intend this child's death, and while extremely reckless and dangerous, she was following the advice of so-called experts in meting out punishment.
–Jim Hatch, Utah Board of Pardons and Parole
She was released Tuesday, Utah Board of Pardons and Parole spokesman Jim Hatch confirmed. He said the board held her beyond the four-year term recommended using various guidelines, but ultimately determined she was not a threat to the community.
"The board also concluded she did not intend this child's death, and while extremely reckless and dangerous, she was following the advice of so-called experts in meting out punishment," Hatch said. "She has no prior criminal history and was a model inmate who showed great remorse."
He also spoke of the woman's four children who "suffered a great deal" in her absence and who remained in her custody for years after Cassandra's death without any harm or incident.
Brightly colored balloons lined the pathway to her Springville home and a handmade banner proclaimed "Welcome Home Mom." Yellow crepe paper adorned a tree in the front yard and posts on the family's white gate.
A teenage girl who answered the door at the home simply shook her head in the negative when asked if anyone in the family wanted to talk.
Prosecutors said Killpack put her daughter, Cassandra, on a bar stool the night of June 9, 2002, tied the girl's hands behind her back and forced her to drink about a gallon of water as punishment for taking a sibling's drink.
Cassandra was vomiting and choking and her temperature had dropped to 90 degrees by the time paramedics arrived. The punishment led to the girl's death by water intoxication — a condition that causes the brain to swell and the body's sodium level to drop to a fatal level, prosecutors said.