A woman has pleaded guilty to manslaughter after putting make-up on a dead baby and trying to pass her off as alive.
The baby's mother, Tyra Monae Anderson, 28, wrapped her baby in a pink blanket and brought her into a hospital. Prosecutors said the 11-month-old child, Mackenzie Anderson, had died earlier by a blunt force to the head.
Anderson said her daughter began acting unusual and was gasping for air the next day after falling from a bed on 3 February 2020. The next day the baby was unresponsive.
The baby was taken to the Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC, where doctors described her as “clearly distraught.”
On 6 February, Mackenzie was pronounced dead. After medical examiners conducted an autopsy, a brown-colored residue was found on towels and sponges.
“A member of the staff noted that the residue looked like make-up or some type of cosmetic,” prosecutors said.
According to Law & Crime, a felony murder charge through first-degree cruelty to children was initially sought by police.
After three years, Anderson's plea deal to a lesser charge of manslaughter could see her free from behind bars. The remainder of the 10-year sentence could be 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.”
Anderson initially told police her baby was covered in make-up because her children were playing with her.
The baby suffered discolorations to her legs and facial abrasions, along with bruises on her neck and hands. There were also contusions to the face and body, said a police report cited by Law & Crime.
“Non-accidental head trauma” was determined to be the cause of death.
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