Purple Heart veteran, wife sentenced in beating death of 5-year- - | WBTV Charlotte

Purple Heart veteran, wife sentenced in beating death of 5-year-old girl

Soren Victoria Chilson (Lancaster Funeral Home) Soren Victoria Chilson (Lancaster Funeral Home)
Phillip Gleason (Source: Lancaster County Sheriff's Office) Phillip Gleason (Source: Lancaster County Sheriff's Office)
April Gleason (Source: Lancaster County Sheriff's Office) April Gleason (Source: Lancaster County Sheriff's Office)
LANCASTER COUNTY, SC (WBTV) -

A Purple Heart veteran and his wife were sentenced Monday for their roles in the death of the woman's young daughter in 2013.

April Gleason and her then-boyfriend and now husband, Phillip Gleason, were sentenced in the death of 5-year-old Soren.

According to investigators, Soren died from blunt force trauma on March 5, 2013 after authorities say Philip Gleason beat her during what the prosecution called a "month-long killing."

Authorities say April knew Phillip was abusing her daughter but didn't do anything to stop it.

6th circuit solicitor Randy Newman says Philip would watch Soren while April worked at night at their home on Craigfarm Road in Lancaster County. 

In court, Newman read pages of text messages between April and Philip. Newman says Phillip admitted to hurting Soren in the messages and April didn't do anything about it. She even reportedly bought cream to cover up Soren's injuries.

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A Lancaster County deputy who responded the night of Soren's death said he held her hand and prayed for her until she died. Soren died of blunt force trauma at Springs Memorial Hosptial in Lancaster.

The defense says Phillip, who is a Purple Heart veteran, suffered from a serve brain injury while serving in the army and he's was diagnosed with PTSD. His defense attorney says this isn't an excuse but factors in the case. 

In court, Phillip said he accepted responsibly for his actions. 

According to an expert brought in by the April's defense attorney, she was also diagnosed with PTSD and other disorders relating to events in her past. April read a statement to the judge, fighting back tears saying how much she missed Soren.

April Gleason pleaded guilty to child neglect charges in mid-December.

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In the end, a judge sentenced Philip Gleason to 38 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and two counts of unlawful conduct. 

April was sentenced to 18 years in prison for three counts of unlawful conduct towards a child. 

Soren's biological father passed away about six months before her death.

The Gleasons had a child after Soren's death who is now in the custody of a family member. The couple is expecting another child in April.

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