GREAT FALLS - Three people were sentenced in Great Falls on Tuesday for the death of five-year-old Antonio "Tony" Renova in November 2019.
The three people are Tony's parents, Emelio Renova and Stephanie Byington; and Racso Birdtail, an acquaintance of theirs.
Judge Elizabeth Best gave Renova the maximum penalty of 100 years in prison with no eligibility for parole.
Byington was sentenced to 100 years in the Montana State Women’s Prison with no parole eligibility for 30 years.
“I am also taking into account what I watched in the videos that were provided to me and in the photos, you were an equal participant in feeding this starving, tortured child… so I am not taking any account to claims that you were forced," Judge Best noted.
Birdtail was sentenced to five years in prison for assault, and 10 years for tampering with evidence.
“I think you deserve an opportunity for parole. I think you deserve an opportunity to make amends. You’ve been assessed to be a moderate risk of reoffending and I have considered the mitigation arguments made by your counsel, particularly that this is your first felony, and I am considering the impact this has had on the victim, the victim’s family, and the community," Judge Best told Birdtail.