updated 10/31/2008 5:33:57 PM ET 2008-10-31T21:33:57

A 16-year-old girl who killed her grandmother by poisoning her with morphine was sentenced Friday to life in prison with a chance for parole in 20 years.

Kristina Adkins cried as she apologized for poisoning Virginia Bentley in 2006. Adkins was 13 at the time.

Probate Judge Margaret Noe opted to sentence Adkins as an adult. She could have placed her in a juvenile facility until age 21 and then evaluated whether prison should be appropriate, court administrator David Stanifer said.

"She was very emotional and was crying," Stanifer said of Adkins. "I think she realized some serious consequences were going to hit."

"The judge received numerous letters from family members, both supporting a light sentence and a very severe sentence," Stanifer said.

Adkins pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Oct. 10. Her attorney, Mike McFarland, claims she was mistreated by Bentley, 53.

He did not immediately respond to a message Friday seeking comment.

Lenawee County is on the Michigan-Ohio border.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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