STATE v. SEPULVADO
655 So.2d 623 (1995)
STATE of Louisiana, Appellee
Yvonne SEPULVADO, Appellant.
Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Second Circuit.
May 10, 1995.
M. Michele Fournet, Baton Rouge, for appellant.
Richard Ieyoub, Atty. Gen., Don Burkett, Dist. Atty., and Charles E. Adams, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee.
Before MARVIN and HIGHTOWER, JJ., and GUIDRY, J. Pro Tem.
GUIDRY, Judge Pro Tem.
On March 24, 1992, defendant, Yvonne Mercer Sepulvado, was charged with the first degree murder of her six-year-old son, in violation of LSA-R.S. 14:30 A(5). The state amended the charge and reduced it to second degree murder, a violation of LSA-R.S. FACTS
14:30.1. The defendant pled not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. After a jury trial, she was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 21 years at hard labor. The defendant appeals her conviction and sentence, urging two assignments of error. For the following reasons, we affirm.
Shortly after 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 8, 1992, six-year-old Wesley Alan Mercer died at DeSoto General Hospital. Dr. George McCormick, the forensic pathologist who examined the body one day after the child died, testified that the primary cause of death was failure of the heart and lungs due to severe third degree burns covering 58 percent of Wesley's body and second degree burns covering 2 percent of the body. The autopsy further revealed the existence of substantial bruises on various parts of the body and multiple head wounds. In fact, Dr. Evans, the emergency room physician who attended to Wesley, testified that the child's head wounds contributed to his death. Specifically, he testified that the burns and the blow to the head in combination caused the child's death. According to Dr. Evans, the final cause of death, as in every instance, was cardiac arrest.
The DeSoto Parish sheriff's investigation led to the arrest of Chris Sepulvado [hereinafter Sepulvado], Wesley's stepfather, and Yvonne Mercer Sepulvado, his mother. Both were charged with first degree murder and tried separately. Sepulvado was convicted as charged and sentenced to death. The defendant was tried for second degree murder and convicted of manslaughter.
The testimony elicited during the defendant's trial revealed the following facts. Chris Sepulvado and the defendant began dating in September of 1990. At that time, defendant was physically separated from her first husband. She and her four-year-old son lived with her parents. In January of 1991, Sepulvado and the defendant and her child moved to Mansfield. They began living together despite objections from the defendant's family.
Shortly thereafter, Sepulvado began to drink heavily and physically abuse the defendant. On May 10, 1991, the defendant left Sepulvado and returned to her parents' house. Sometime between the end of May and the first of July 1991, the defendant resumed living with Sepulvado, leaving her child in her mother's care. However, Sepulvado "beat" her again and she left him a second time, returning to her parents' house. After another brief stay with her parents, defendant returned to live with Sepulvado and, this time, took Wesley with her. Subsequently, Sepulvado began to abuse Wesley instead of the defendant. According to the defendant, the physical and verbal abuse that Sepulvado inflicted upon her child escalated gradually.