Hall of Justice
The Hall of Justice in downtown San Diego. File photo

A woman who inflicted fatal injuries on a month-old baby she was hired to care for in San Diego County was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years to life in state prison.

Victoria Frances Fox, 40, pleaded guilty to a first-degree murder count for the August 2021 death of a baby boy identified in court documents only by his first name, Phoenix.

Deputy District Attorney Ramona McCarthy said Fox was hired by the child’s parents, who needed extra childcare help at a time when they were expecting twins through a San Diego-based surrogate.

The prosecutor said Fox came with “stellar recommendations,” though it turned out one of those recommendations was fabricated by Fox herself.

On the day the surrogate was set to give birth to their twins at a local hospital, the couple left Phoenix under Fox’s care.

On the first night she was left alone with the child, Fox “abused him so violently and badly that he would succumb to his injuries,” McCarthy said.

According to a sentencing brief filed by the prosecutor, Fox admitted to throwing the baby onto a bed, squeezing him and shaking him. She also stated “she hurt Phoenix because he would not stop crying.”

The infant’s parents did not attend Fox’s sentencing hearing, but McCarthy read a statement in court authored by the couple.

“We think of Phoenix every day and this horrific event still affects us as a family deeply,” the statement read. “We hope this sentence means no other family or child will experience what we have been through at the hands of Ms. Fox.”

City News Service contributed to this article.