A Fairfax County woman who was convicted of first-degree murder for throwing her 2-year-old granddaughter to her death off a mall walkway was sentenced to 35 years in prison Friday.
The longest sentence allowable, it was what a Fairfax County jury recommended in October when it found Carmela dela Rosa, 51, guilty in the killing of Angelyn Ogdoc.
Dela Rosa and her family were on an outing at Tysons Corner Center in November 2010 when dela Rosa snatched up Angelyn, darted to a pedestrian bridge railing and then dropped the girl 44 feet to her death.
The killing shocked the area and spawned headlines across the country. The murder was caught by a mall surveillance camera and dela Rosa later admitted to detectives she had plotted the killing while her family enjoyed their time at the mall.
“I’m very sorry for what I’ve done,” dela Rosa said during Friday’s hearing, going on to apologize to the girl’s parents and her mother, sister, husband and brother in turn. Tears in her eyes, she said again: “I’m very sorry.”
During the trial, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Morrogh argued that dela Rosa was angry that her daughter, Kathlyn Ogdoc, had gotten pregnant out of wedlock. She focused her rage on the baby’s father, James Ogdoc.
“In the end, she was a jealous, angry and spiteful woman,” Morrogh told jurors.
Fairfax County Deputy Public Defender Dawn Butorac argued that dela Rosa was not guilty by reason of insanity. She said dela Rosa was in the grip of a crippling depression that worsened in the months before the killing.
In a crowded courtroom, Angelyn’s parents sat with other family members on the prosecution’s side. Dela Rosa’s mother, friends and other family members sat on hers.
Morrogh called the killing one of the worst crimes he’d seen as commonwealth’s attorney in Fairfax, saying dela Rosa was “one of the people that should have loved [Angelyn] the most.”
“The despair that ripples out from a crime like this will last 100 years,” Morrogh said.
Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Bruce E. White could have reduced the sentence recommended by the jury during Friday’s hearing, but could not increase it.
This item has been updated.