A woman who put make-up on her dead baby to pretend she was alive has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
After the 11-month-old child, Mackenzie Anderson, died by blunt force trauma to the head, her mother Tyra Monae Anderson, 28, walked her into a hospital wrapped in a pink blanket, prosecutors said.
She told prosecutors her daughter fell from a bed on 3 February 2020, began acting unusually the next day, and was gasping for air the day after. A day later she was unresponsive.
She was taken to the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC on 6 February, where she was described as "clearly distraught".
Mackenzie was pronounced dead on 6 February. Medical examiners conducted an autopsy and found brown-coloured residue on the towels and sponges.
"A member of the staff noted that the residue looked like make-up or some type of cosmetic," prosecutors said.
Police initially sought to accuse the defendant of felony murder by way of first-degree cruelty to children, according to Law & Crime.
The plea deal to the lesser charge of manslaughter could see the woman freed after three years, with the remainder of her 10-year sentence suspended.
"The plea, which is contingent upon the Court’s approval, calls for a 10-year prison term, with all but three years of that time suspended on the condition that Anderson have no future unsupervised contact with children and that she engage in mental health treatment,” the Justice Department said in a press release.
“Following the prison term, Anderson is to be placed on five years of supervised release.”
The guilty plea comes after Anderson initially told police the baby had makeup on because her children play with it.
A police report cited by Law & Crime says that the baby suffered discolouration to her legs, abrasions to the face, neck and hands, and contusions to the face and body.
A doctor at the medical centre, Dr Joanna Cohen, said the infant died by “non-accidental head trauma".
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