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Mom accused of killing daughter wants harsher murder sentence

Sujatha Guduru rejects lesser charge at hearing

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – The Oviedo mother accused of killing her 17-year-old daughter inside of their home in 2014 rejected a lesser charge ahead of her sentencing on Wednesday.

Sujatha Guduru is requesting the strongest penalty and since the state refuses to seek the death penalty, she wants to spend the rest of her life in prison. The state did not offer that at her hearing Wednesday, so Guduru rejected the settlement.

If Guduru would have taken the plea deal offered for the lesser charge of second-degree murder, Guduru would have been sentenced to 30 years in prison and been out before her 70th birthday.

Guduru can only be charged with first-degree murder since the state withdrew its previous offer, which would put her in prison for life.

Prosecutors say Guduru was legally insane at the time of the shooting and her attorney says that could have been a defense if the case went to trial.

"The family is up in arms. Ms. Guduru has essentially gone rogue. She has disregarded all of the legal advice that we have given her," her attorney said. "I do believe that she has a viable insanity defense. She's instructed me to abandon that defense. So we proceeded to negotiate a plea on her behalf, which she rejected today."

Guduru will have another court hearing on March 2. She will either accept the state's offer of life in prison, or stand trial.