Mukilteo woman sentenced to 30 years for torturing girl

EVERETT — A Mukilteo woman who tortured a 10-year-old girl with starvation, beating and burns was sentenced to 30 years in prison Thursday by a judge who described her actions as “stark proof of how low humans can sink.”

Mary Mazalic engaged in “horrendous, gratuitous” abuse, including starving the girl to the point where the child was at risk of dying, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Michael Downes said.

“She did it for no other reason than deliberate cruelty,” he said.

Mazalic, 35, was convicted of first-degree assault of a child, criminal mistreatment and witness tampering.

The 30-year sentence — about 18 years longer than the top punishment under state sentencing guidelines — was recommended by deputy prosecutor Lisa Paul as well as the lead detective on the case.

It was an option because jurors who heard the case concluded there were aggravating factors to Mazalic’s crimes, including deliberate cruelty involving a particularly vulnerable victim.

Jurors deliberated for about three hours before reaching their verdicts Sept. 27. Several attended Thursday’s hearing.

Mazalic clearly didn’t want to be there and was hustled into the courtroom by a brace of corrections officers.

She was at times tearful, and, when the judge asked if she had anything to offer, spoke too softly to be heard clearly in the courtroom gallery.

The girl Mazalic abused is the adopted sister of her boyfriend, Derron Alexis, 43. He is now awaiting trial, charged with first-degree criminal mistreatment, also accused of beating the girl, and withholding food and medical attention.

The girl had lived in New York with Alexis’ parents, but in 2010 was sent to live in Mukilteo. Once here, evidence showed she was beaten with whips, burned with lit cigarettes and punished by being denied food.

When rescued in August 2011, the girl weighed just 51 pounds. Her body had lost nearly all its fat and had started metabolizing her muscles for energy.

The child is now living with foster parents. She sat with them in the courtroom’s front row Thursday, wearing a flower print dress.

Lance Smith, the lead detective on the case for Mukilteo police, told the judge that in his nearly 21 years on the job he’s never encountered a similar case. The defendant isn’t just an abuser, but also a practiced liar, he said. When she realized that she was in trouble, Mazalic attempted to get investigators in a jam, claiming that they’d stolen a handgun while searching her home for evidence and then broke in later to plant it in the child’s room.

Those allegations were investigated by an outside department and determined to be unfounded, but the claim provides insight into Mazalic’s character, Smith said. At the time, the girl was undergoing treatment for severe starvation.

Mazalic “was not concerned with (the girl) being in the hospital. She was concerned with me uncovering the truth,” Smith said.

Defense attorney Max Harrison said that Mazalic was abused physically, emotionally and sexually as a child. It’s clear she has deep-seated problems and should never have been entrusted with caring for a child, he said.

“Ms. Mazalic did terrible things. You can’t deny that. She knows that,” Harrison said.

But he urged the judge to consider a sentence of 20 years or less.

While her actions may have been be monstrous, “I’m hoping that the court can understand that Ms. Mazalic is a human,” Harrison said.

Downes said the evidence about Mazalic’s background is unclear, but there is no question that she knew how she treated the girl was wrong.

“The defendant’s cruelty in this case was wanton,” he said.

Scott North: 425-339-3431, north@heraldnet.com

More in Local News

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Jogger unharmed after fending off attacker in Edmonds

Police released video of a man they believe to be the attacker.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Divers called to recover body after train hits pedestrian

The accident was reported by a BNSF crew near Woods Creek in Monroe.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
A local connection to history

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson remembers The Post’s Katharine Graham, who visited several times.

Most Read