West Allis mom whose 3 kids died in fire gets 18 years

CREATED Sep 27, 2013 - UPDATED: Sep 27, 2013

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  • Photo: Jon Byman

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  • Photo courtesy Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel. A firefighter walks away from the scene of a fire in the 7700 block of W. Hicks St. on Friday morning. Officials with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the state Department of Justice arrived on the scene this morning. The fire left three dead. READ MORE Image by Photo courtesy Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel

  • Photo courtesy Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel A firefighter walks away from the fire scene at 7750 W. Hicks St. on Friday morning. West Allis police say three people were found dead after the house fire that was reported on Thursday afternoon. Image by Photo courtesy Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel

  • Photo courtesy Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel. A police officer digs through the debris as investigators are on the scene of a fatal fire in West Allis. Image by Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel

  • Photo courtesy Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel. Investigators are on the scene of a fatal fire in West Allis. Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel Image by Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel

  • Photo courtesy Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel. Investigators from the ATF and the DOJ DCI are on the scene of a fatal fire in West Allis. Photo courtesy Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel Image by Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel

  • Photo courtesy C.T. Kruger - Journal Sentinel. West Allis Police and Fire investigators are on the scene of a fatal house fire in the 7700 block of West Hicks Street on April 12. Officials have reported the April 11 fire left three people dead. Image by C.T. Kruger - Journal Sentinel

MILWAUKEE - Before several weeping family members and friends, a judge sentenced Angelica Belen to 18 years in prison for child neglect resulting in the death of her three kids - she was given six years for each child.

Belen also faces six years supervision.

The 25-year-old's three children died in a house fire in April, and she later admitted to locking the kids in their room so she could go to work.

Prior to his decision, Judge Jeffrey A. Wagner told Belen she failed in her parental responsibilities and that she played "Russian roulette" with her children. He said he wanted the sentence to be a "wake up call" to parents in the community.

Prosecutors addressed Judge Wagner first and requested three separate sentences, one for each child. They also read through a laundry list of prior allegations put together by Child Protective Services.

Belen's half-sister and cousin followed with their own pleas for a sentence of life in prison.

The defense tried to paint a different picture of Belen, one of a mother who tried to do the best parenting she was capable. Belen's aunt, sister and pastor spoke passionately about her love for her three young children (one child had cerebral palsy and another was autistic).

Belen was last to address the court, and pleaded through wails of years for mercy, indicating her desire to be a public servant and teach parents to make better decisions.

Click below to watch a Web Extra video of Judge Wagner speaking at Belen's sentencing: