SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ After being convicted in the drowning death of her boyfriend's 3-year-old son in scalding water, a jury has sentenced a mildly mentally retarded woman to 80 years in prison.

Veronica Herrera, 28, will be eligible for parole when she is 58. The jury, which found her guilty of murder Monday in the June 2005 death of Andrew Joshua Fox, decided on her punishment Tuesday.

Herrera had been eligible for probation or could have received a prison term of up to life.

Prosecutors had told jurors in closing arguments Tuesday that their sentence would send a clear message.

"You are the community today. The 12 of you are the voice of Bexar County. You're setting the price for this heinous act committed by someone mildly mentally retarded," prosecutor Scott Simpson said. "You have to set the bar so high that when someone gets frustrated, they know this is what happens if you kill your child so people won't ever do it. That's why you don't want to give probation. Set the bar today. Set it appropriately high."

Information from: San Antonio Express-News,

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.