Sentencing delayed for mother convicted of daughter’s murder

TULALIP — A Tulalip woman convicted of murder in the 2012 death of her young daughter won’t learn her punishment until early next month.

Christina Carlson was scheduled to be sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Seattle. The hearing was pushed back to Aug. 4.

Carlson, 38, pleaded guilty in April to second-degree murder and criminal mistreatment. Lawyers have agreed to recommend a sentence between eight and 13 years. A federal judge isn’t obligated to follow the attorneys’ recommendations. Carlson faces up to life behind bars.

Her daughter, Chantel Craig, 1 ½, suffered from severe malnutrition and died after paramedics found her. Chantel and her sister, 3, were living with Carlson in a car on the Tulalip Indian Reservation.

The girls had sores all over their bodies and were covered in feces, lice and maggots. Chantel wasn’t breathing when paramedics reached her. They were unable to revive her. The older girl was unconscious and suffered seizures. She was treated for dehydration and skin sores from prolonged exposure to feces and urine.

The girls were kept buckled into their car seats for hours. Carlson hadn’t changed their diapers for days despite having an unopened package of clean diapers in the trunk of the car. The girls also hadn’t been adequately fed in several days, possibly longer.

Evidence also showed that Carlson smoked heroin in the car with the girls inside.

The day that Chantel died Carlson left them alone for several hours to visit with nearby neighbors. She used their phone in an attempt to buy drugs. The neighbors eventually persuaded her to go check on the girls.

Chantel wasn’t breathing and her other daughter wasn’t responsive. She ran back up the road and called 911.

Carlson and the girls had for months been the focus of on-again, off-again searches by state and tribal child welfare workers. Their grandmother called Child Protective Services in December 2011 with concerns that the girls were being neglected.

Carlson had lost custody of at least three other children because of her drug use and neglect, court papers said.

In a terrible coincidence, state social workers closed the investigation hours before Chantel died. They hadn’t been able to find her or Carlson. The woman and her daughters had for weeks been living in her car down a dirt road on the reservation.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Families begin relocating from public housing complex

Baker Heights is in need of repairs deemed to costly to make, and will be demolished and replaced.

Trail work by juvenile offenders builds resumes, confidence

Kayak Point trails were built out this year by groups from Denney Juvenile Justice Center.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Distress beacon leads rescuers to Pacific Crest Trail hikers

Two men in their 20s had encountered snow and waited two nights for a helicopter rescue.

Volunteers clean up homeless camp infested with garbage

The organization’s founder used to live and do drugs in the same woods.

Everett mayoral campaign is one of the priciest ever

Many campaign donors are giving to both Cassie Franklin and Judy Tuohy.

Arrests made in robbery-turned fatal Everett shooting

A man, 24, and woman, 18, were found at a hotel in Seattle.

Boeing marks the start of 777X production at Paine Field

It took tax breaks and union concessions to land assembly of the company’s new jetliner in Everett.

3 fire departments seek levies to support emergency services

District 25 in Oso is hoping to pass its first fire levy in 22 years.

Most Read