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'They took her life': Laila Daniel's mom gives tearful statement before Rosenbaums sentenced

In court Thursday, Tessa Daniel said she blamed herself for what happened to her child for the longest time.

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — The biological mother of the 2-year-old who died in the care of her foster parents gave a tearful statement in court Thursday, saying she no longer blamed herself for her baby girl's death.

Laila Daniel's mother, Tessa Daniel, got the chance to say her peace before her children's foster parents, Jennifer and Joseph Rosenbaum, were sentenced. 

The two were found guilty on numerous charges in connection with Laila's death. She died in 2015 from what the GBI medical examiner described as “significant blunt impact trauma.” 

Her injuries included a transected pancreas, broken bones in her arms and legs and severe blood loss. The Rosenbaums claimed the toddler choked on chicken and died.

Credit: WXIA
Jennifer and Joseph Rosenbaum

RELATED: Rosenbaums found guilty on numerous charges in foster child murder trial

"I wanted to say that they were given an opportunity to have a precious baby in their life and instead they took her life," Tessa Daniel said sorrowfully.

Last month during the trial, Tessa said Laila and her older sister, Millie, were shuffled between her home and the homes of relatives and friends until the Department of Family and Child Services took custody of them. She thought the Rosenbaums would be a good place for her daughters. 

In court Thursday, Tessa said she blamed herself for what happened to her child for the longest time. 

"I’ve blamed myself over the last four years a lot for what’s happened to my baby," she said crying. "Because of my actions, I caused her to be in their home, and I just want to say that now I see that I don’t have to blame myself anymore."

"Because I never hurt my babies and I just hope that the time they do in there, I hope that they really have time to feel something," she added.

So many others gave a statement in court, including Laila's biological aunt.

RELATED: Here is a breakdown of the guilty verdict for Jennifer, Joseph Rosenbaum

“This has been weighing on our lives for four years," she said. "From now, on we will refer to our lives as before Laila died or after Laila died.”

“You not only killed Laila and traumatized her sister, but you broke the hearts of everyone who ever knew her," she added.

The Rosenbaums also had family members to provide impact statements after the verdict was read. Joseph's father, Michael Rosenbaum, asked the court to make sure his son received the proper care and medication behind bars. He said Joseph has cystic fibrosis and is also a diabetic. He also asked for him to be placed on suicide watch.

Joseph Rosenbaum's mom claimed the foster parents were good to both Millie and Laila. 

"They would never do this," she said. " I don’t care what anybody says. Please, be lenient on them. My son is going to die in prison because they’re not going to take care of him.”

At the end of the day, the judge sentenced Jennifer Rosenbaum to life plus 40 years. Her husband, Joseph, was given 50 years with 30 to serve. 

Tessa Daniel said after court she was happy with the verdict.  Listen to what she had to say below.


‘Liars, abusers and murderers:’ Prosecutors say Rosenbaums lived a life of lies 

'Night stick fracture': Doctor testifies about broken bones suffered by Laila Daniel 

Defense expert says toddler killed by foster mom’s ‘panicked attempt to save Laila’s life’ 

A ‘façade’ versus ‘accident’: Closings arguments in foster parent murder trial 

Juror replaced, jury ordered to restart deliberations in foster parents murder trial 

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