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Fitchburg mother sentenced in killing of 6-year-old daughter

Shana Pedroso attends her arraignment with attorney Michael Hussey at Fitchburg District Court Wednesday, April 11, 2018.  (Boston Herald file photo)
Shana Pedroso attends her arraignment with attorney Michael Hussey at Fitchburg District Court Wednesday, April 11, 2018. (Boston Herald file photo)
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WORCESTER — A Fitchburg mother has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the killing of her 6-year-old daughter, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said in a news release Friday.

As part of the sentencing issued Friday by Worcester Superior Court Judge Daniel Wrenn, 41-year-old Shana Pedroso will not be eligible to seek parole for 25 years. Pedroso’s sentence also includes a five-year probation term with the condition that she stay away and have no contact with the surviving victim.

On April 10, 2018, Fitchburg Police responded to 139 Stoneybrook Road after the 6-year-old girl, Sofia, was found unresponsive inside the family home.

Sofia was taken to UMass Memorial HealthAlliance in Leominster where she was pronounced dead. Her 9-year-old brother, Julian, was also transported to the hospital with several injuries.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner found that Sofia died from blunt force injuries and ruled her death a homicide. Her brother had injuries consistent with being physically abused.

Pedroso’s husband, Marvin Brito, was sentenced to prison in December 2021 after he pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter, permitting substantial injury to a child and reckless endangerment of a child in connection with the killing of his daughter and the injuries suffered by his son.

Brito was sentenced to serve eight years on the manslaughter charge and a concurrent two-and-a-half-year sentence on the reckless endangerment of a child charge. He was also sentenced to three years of probation, to be served upon his release from prison, on the permitting substantial injury to a child charge.

Pedroso and Brito are both Lowell natives, having graduated from Lowell High School in 1998 and 1997, respectively. Their children were also born in Lowell, where they lived on Fulton Avenue until at least November 2015, when they purchased their home in Fitchburg. Neighbors in both cities reported the family to be reclusive, rarely seeing the children outdoors.

Investigators from the Fitchburg Police Department and State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office worked together on this case with Assistant District Attorney Courtney L. Sans, Special Prosecutor John H. Melander Jr. and Victim Witness Advocate Erin Beech.

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