Sacto 911: Valeeya's killer sentenced to 29 years to life

A judge today sentenced 23-year-old Thomas Jerome Martin to 29 years to life for the beating death of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter inside a Fair Oaks apartment in 2008.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael A. Savage said he was imposing the maximum sentence available to him after making lengthy remarks in which he severely criticized the failure of the county's Child Protective Services agency to protect Valeeya.

Martin, whose lawyer said he still denies responsibility for Valeeya's death, made no statements during the sentencing other than to respond "Yes, sir" when asked by the judge if he understood technical aspects of the proceedings.

Valeeya died after sustaining months of repeated beatings that left her with numerous rib fractures, bruises and other scars, and her case was one of several involving CPS that led to numerous investigation's of the troubled agency.

Her mother, Mia Holmes, previously was sent to prison.